This is the first year I’ve made homemade damson gin using damson growing in my garden. We have been living here for 5 summers now and the Damson Gin is so delicious I can’t believe we lived here much earlier!
Our first batch of homemade Damson Gin is rich, fruity and sweet. It was so good that I immediately made a second batch and prepared it for spring!
I bought some cute little jars and gift tags to give to friends and family as Christmas presents, and dried some oranges to decorate them. I’m very happy with how it turned out. Your family will love this delicious and thoughtful homemade gift!
How to make homemade damson gin
A trick for picking your damsons
If you choose your own damson, there’s a little trick to make it easier. Place the old sheet on the grass under the tree. Get a ladder, climb to the top, and give the top branch of the damson tree a good shake.
If you’re ready to catch your damson, simply fall out of the tree with a shower of delicious damsons. It’s much easier than choosing!
I read online that traditionally damsons are chosen on October 1st, but our family chose them in mid-September. They were definitely ready to be picked, and most of ours were rotten by the end of September.
Should you freeze your damsons?
We recommend freezing immediately after picking. After harvesting, I put it in a carrier bag and put it in the chest freezer with the bag full. There is no need to separate the damsons into smaller bags as they will fall apart even if you freeze them together.
I find that damsons start to wilt quickly, so they need to be frozen within a day or two, or if possible, immediately.
You can also make homemade Darson gin using frozen Darson. Because hitting it with a rolling pin to break it up a little brings out all the wonderful flavors. It also means that if you want to make another gin or jam at the end of the year, you’ll always have fresh damsons in your freezer.
How to make damson gin
- Wash the mason jar with warm water and detergent, then place it in the oven for 10 minutes while wet with water running inside.
- Remove the meth from the freezer, place it in a small plastic bag, and tap the frozen meth with a rolling pin to break it up a bit
- Take a mason jar and layer the damsons and caster sugar on top.
- You don’t have to be very precise when it comes to measurements. I used a sachet of caster sugar for every liter of gin.
- Once the jar is full, add the gin.
- You will need to turn the jar over several times each day for a week or two.
- Gently tilt the bottle without shaking it. We don’t know why, but we just read this online and followed the advice!
- After two weeks, you can tip the jar every week or so.
- Store the jar in a cool, dark cupboard for about 3 months before drinking.
- The longer you leave it, the sweeter and richer it will become.
- After three months, strain the homemade damson gin through a sieve and through a muslin cloth.
- Decantage Damson Gin into pretty bottles and violas!
What you’ll need to make homemade damson gin
- frozen darson bag
- caster sugar (about 400g for 1 liter of gin)
- A bottle of gin (I used 1L of Grayson’s gin from Aldi – any cheap gin will do)
- Large mason jar (mine is from The Range)
- Muslin (if you have an old baby muslin, that’s great)
- funnel large enough for the bottle
- A small bottle for decanting the finished product
What to do with the damsons after making damson gin
Once you’ve made your own damson gin, you’ll be left with lots of nice gin-smoked damsons. Don’t waste your sons! Place it in the fridge and drink it with ice and tonic to diffuse the gin from the damson. Be careful when doing this. I don’t know what Jin’s measurements are. And sweet Damson Gin is deceptively delicious and easy to drink!
Decorating your mini bottles for Christmas gifts
i purchased a box containing 36 50ml glass bottles with cork lids. It was available from Amazon and cost £24.95.
I also bought 100 Rustic Gift Tags from Amazon for £3.99.
I also bought a gift tag stamp set from Sostrene Grene for £2.74 (I love this shop!)
And the final touch was some dried orange slices for garnish. Drying oranges is very easy, just slice them, place them on a baking tray, and bake them in the oven at about 120 degrees Celsius for about 3 hours. You’ll need to turn it every 30 minutes and keep an eye on it once it’s about 2 hours old, as it can quickly burn as it approaches the end of baking.
And it was done. Really simple, easy and affordable homemade Christmas gifts that are delicious and will be liked by almost every adult. I have to admit that gin is not my favorite drink, and I love Damson Gin. I also found these to be a lot of fun to make. It was a lot of fun, especially since we were a family and we all had different jobs.
This will become a September tradition for our family and our friends will be getting little bottles of Damson Gin for years to come!