Wednesday 30 May 2007

Fizzy Spirits

It's been another lousy wet day. Yesterday, which wasn't too bad, I did some housekeeping, went to the dump, planted out the pumpkins and generally did a good day's work. Today, rain streaming down the windows, cold feet and a despondent heart and I've done next to nothing.

Except, I have been progressing some of the alcohol related projects that have been started this month.

First I bottled the Beech Leaf Noyau. This involved making a sugar syrup and adding it and a 25cl glass of armagnac to the strained gin from the beech leaves. Easy enough but what does it taste like? Like sweet gin with brandy in it. There might be a slight aroma from the leaves but it's very faint - as far as I can tell it's just an excuse for making gin palatable without having to add mixers. I believe the Dutch like sweet gin, perhaps it originated there or maybe it was more significant in the days when spirits were distilled at home and anything to hand was adopted to give the raw spirit some flavour.


Then I bottled the elderflower champagne started a few days ago. The most difficult part of this was finding bottles that would take the pressure of the fermentation in the bottle. In the UK I have a crown capper which works well for low alcohol fizzy beverages like beer, over here my options are more limited, I think, I've just had an awful thought that the crown capper may be in the end room. I won't look right now.

Anyway, I found two fine lemonade bottles with pressure caps, two old fizzy wine bottles and some corks with tops on (what are those things called?) and for the rest I used 50cl plastic coke bottles which should take the pressure adequately and can't really fail dangerously. I tied the corks down after taking the picture, blue string isn't very photogenic. It'll still be a few days before the champagne can be tasted but the wort was sweet and lemony elderflowery, delicious.


Anonymous said...

The crown capper *is* in the end room. |8-) Save some for me.

Niles said...

There are several brands of beer that come in the right sort of bottle in French supermarkets. I have a bottle of "Pelforth brune" right here.