Friday, 3 June 2011

I'm back! Elderflower Champagne and Hawthorne Brandy Reviews

Well, it's been a year since I last posted and what a year it's been.
My soap making enterprise took off brilliantly so most of my attention was on that (see my other blog and my daughter flourished into a toddler with boundless energy!
I'm also expecting my 2nd child in October, so I've slowed things down on the soap making front, which has resulted in more time for me to cook and experiment in the kitchen. So look out for some interesting posts coming up.

Now, you may remember my last post was all about making Hawthorne brandy and elderflower champagne.
Then, you'll be pleased to hear that both drinks turned out to be complete successes.

Let's start with the elderflower.
We honestly couldn't believe how lovely it was, considering how easy it was to make. And it packed a lot of fizz too!
Here's a photo of the finished product, garnished with a Borage flower and sprig of mint. Such a summery, fun drink.

Needless to say, we are making more (much more!) this year, but have decided to tone down the sugar content to 1kg per batch due to the almost overpowering sweetness of last years. But that's just a personal preference.

Now for a completely different beast: the Hawthorne brandy.
This we had to keep for 3 months and then strained off the flowers just before Yule. We tried a bit then, but it tasted distinctively 'hedgy' and potent! Not unpleasant, but not nice either!
So we left it to mature for a bit longer and tried it again on May Day.
I'm very pleased to say that it had vastly improved, was smooth and more 'blossomy' rather than 'hedgy'! Not much is needed though, it's very strong!
Obviously I can't drink right now due to my pregnancy, but I do believe that this Hawthorne brandy would go really well with ginger ale. Maybe something to try after the new baby arrives? ...