I found a big box of frozen Mulberries in our freezer yesterday. I gave a couple to the children as a chilly treat and then remembered that we had recently consumed the last of our super tasty Mulberry gin during the Winter nights. It was clearly time to create some fresh supplies.
My brother had given me a bottle of gin for Xmas and I was going to save it until the Summer months, but this seemed a project worthy of breaking that pledge. The decorative bottle that we had dispatched over Christmas was undoubtedly cute, but actually quite small, or so it seemed once we got a taste of it.
I filled too jars with the fruit and steeped it in gin; it soon took on a glowing ruby red hue. Normally when making liquors, I add a bit of sugar to help the process but Mulberries are so sweet, it did not seem necessary. I will test it in due course, just to be sure...
Spring seems to be arriving a full month early here in the UK. Plum blossom is blooming all over the place, snowdrops daffodils and crocuses are all flowering at the same time bringing a cheery flourish to the gloomy weather we have been experiencing.
Does this mean the Plums will be ripening a month early? Will they fruit before the Cherries? Perhaps February or March will turn dramatically colder and ruin the early harvest. Who knows? All we can do is wait and observe the changes as they occur. I remember a bad year for Cherries that I put down to high winds during the blossom season deterring pollinators.
Meanwhile, we can simply enjoy the florid display, allow it to lift our hearts and hope that it heralds a good Spring, warm Summer and prolific Autumn.