In Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Simpcox says to Gloucester, explaining how he fell out of a tree and became lame:
“Alas, good master, my wife desired some damsons
And made me climb, with danger of my life”
Here’s the recipe:
• 1 bottle of gin
• ½ lb sugar
• 1 lb damsons
Put the washed damsons in a bowl and prick each one with a knife then transfer it to your clean jar or demijohn. When you choose your gin, stay away from the botanical, cucumbery, highly perfumed brands, go for Plymouth or Gordon’s.
Give it a good swirl around to dissolve the sugar.
It should soon change colour and go a rich deep red but keep your hands off until Christmas! If you prefer your drinks tall, try mixing it with some elderflower cordial and fizzy water to make a Damderflower – delicious but tread lightly!