every day world. I’ve tried to follow that advice and now I can say it’s given good results. Now that we’re back in our house we walk the neighborhood on a regular basis with the dogs. This summer has brought several discoveries . The most striking was a huge cherry tree on our street. On one walk in June I noticed pits on the ground at the top of the street. I looked up to see a cherry tree around 80 feet high with fruit along the branches. I went back with an 8 foot tent pole to knock down what I could but I couldn’t reach even the lowest fruit. Oh well, a neat find. Within a week the birds had taken them all.
Today I noticed a clump of shrubby plants with bright red berries growing along the road at the edge of an empty lot. They looked like raspberries, and tasted even better. The foliage wasn’t quite right for what I was used to seeing for raspberries. A little internet searching turned up that these are wineberries, an invasive raspberry species from Japan. More importantly – they are edible. A quick walk back and I was able to pick 2 cups of extremely ripe berries.When I got back home the Amateur Cocktail Kids wanted samples, I needed to act fast. I had just enough vodka to cover them, so into the vodka they went.
Berry infusion are fairly simple – cover the fruit with vodka (or any spirit) by a half inch or so and let it sit for several weeks. You can add sugar to make a liqueur. Go back to last year’s post on blackberries for a more formal recipe. I followed B
lackberry cassis last year, but it was a little too sweet. I’ve decided to skip the sugar from now on. I’ll add what I need to when it comes time to drink it.
The six to eight weeks I thought to infuse the wineberries turned in to 10 months. They seemed pretty happy sitting in the back of the cellar all this time. It spring again (May 2010) and I needed the jar they’re in for another project. I strained them last night – very simple, no sediment to filter out and no gelling from excessive pectin like the fig infusion. I have a nice half bottle of raspberry flavored vodka now.