Posted by: edibleplanet | July 3, 2009

Attack of the Hugh FW

I know it has been a long while since we updated this blog, but we will try to be more regular now. The lack of content is not because we haven’t been experimenting and trying things, so we will fill you in on our experiments.

Recently we have been under the influence of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and decided to try making his gorse flower wine.

Being in New Zealand, I have always viewed gorse as the enemy, the ruination of our beautiful country by its fast spreading ways. So it was novel to think of it as useful. We took gloves and the stockpot and went up on the Port Hills and it was easy to find gorse bushes in flower. We had so many to choose from. Gorse flower picking does take a long time and careful attention to avoid getting spiked but four year old Lucy helped out so it is child’s play. The flowers have a coconut suncream oil smell that reminds me of walking on hills in spring. By the time we left I was looking at gorse bushes in a whole new way, seeing one and thinking, that would be a good one to pick.

Once back with our half stockpot of gorse flowers and with lemons gathered off my parents lemon tree, we set about boiling up the flowers. We used Hugh’s recipe in the end but Gorse Flower wine is a traditional Celtic mead and the internet is awash with recipes.

We all tried the syrup before we put it in the fermenter. It was really nice and refreshing and only had a hint of the coconut the flowers had smelt of. Next time (yes I am already thinking there will be) I would like to make gorse flower cordial syrup, too.

It has now been sitting on top of our heater in the lounge for nearly three weeks and bubbling away until this week. The house is too cold to put it anywhere else. We tried some the other day and it is now very cider like and tastes of apples, even though none were put in.

We have some bottles arriving soon so we will be ready to bottle and by summer we should have ten litres of a nice sparkling wine.

–Fiona

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