Marrow brandy

Well, it would seem that after the awesome growing season we’ve just had, autumn is well and truly underway. Unable to get out into the garden due to the frankly miserable weather at the weekend, I turned my hand instead to making marrow brandy.

Now, I’ve been fishing around on the interweb for a while for a bullet proof recipe and different folk seem to make it in different ways. The main process is the same: chop the top off a marrow, scoop out the seeds, pack with sugar and fasten the top on again. This is where it gets a tad complicated. Some add brandy to the sugar, some add yeastand some add nothing at all. Figuring I wasn’t likely to get a potent brew with no brewing process, I decided to add yeast to mine.

Fetching my non-prize winning marrow from the depths of the pantry, I first cut off the top about 3 inches down. Scooping out the seeds proved trickier than I first thought due to the length of the marrow and the size of the opening. Undeterred, I removed all that I physically could, then made the cavity as big as possible by poking the remaining seeds down with a rolling pin. Genius!

I then set about packing the hole with brown sugar. After it was half full I added the juice of an orange and a sachet of wine yeast, then up to the top with more brown sugar. As this thing is hopefully going to ferment its head off I made a small hole through the lid of the marrow and inserted a wine-making airlock. With any luck this will let any yeasty gasses out and avert any unfortunate exploding marrow incidents. It should also keep the whole thing a bit more sealed and sterile and stop any bacteria getting in and sending the insides mouldy. That fitted, the top went back on the marrowand I fastened it with gaffer tape.

I then put the whole thing into an old pair of tights, hung it from the window latch and suspended it over a sweet jar. Apparently when the magic starts to happen, the marrow can get really mushy and hard to handle, so the tights will help support the weight.

Marrow brandy

Marrow brandy

According to form I now leave it alone for about three weeks, and then pierce a hole in the bottom to let the liquid drip out. At that point I should then pack the marrow with even more sugar and seal again for maximum juice extraction.

If all goes to plan I’ll be rewarded with a syrupy liquid that will be the start of my brandy. The liquid then goes into a demijohn with more yeast and water, to be fermented into a heady brew. From all accounts the end result can knock your socks off, so should be enjoyed in moderation.

I wonder if I should include a health warning on the bottles…

Appeared in The Hinckley Times on 17 October 2013

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2 thoughts on “Marrow brandy

  1. ” Warning – Remove socks before drinking!” I’m still cleaning up from two severe gales and fallen trees. Had one at 115 klm. per hour followed by another one with gusts of up to 95 klm. per hour. We had severe wind problems and uprooted trees, our neighbour (New South Wales) is currently fighting fires. We are only just into Spring and I sadly think this is going to be a very bad fire season.

    I have not been out to the junk yard for some spare tyres, but it is still on my to do list for this year. Planted some things called “Asian Greens” some Capsicum and some Tomatoes. We had a funeral for the Capsicum and the Asian Greens, and the Toms are still on the danger list.

    • I thought Austrailia was lovely and calm! Winds of that speed do not sound like much fun…

      Everything over here in Blighty is considerably damp. The greenhouse plants have started to go mouldy, so the door is always open at the moment. I’ll bring the last bits in to the house to ripen off soon. Then it will be time to hang up the shovel for a while and spend winter flicking through seed catalogues :)

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