Easiest apple schnapps

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat

Please do put a penny in the old man's hat

If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do

If you haven't got a ha'penny, then God bless you!

And while the geese get fat, I start making Christmas drinks ... the sloe gin is already underway but there are still some sloes in the hedgerows.  

Rachel Redlaw sloes

This picture is from last weekend so do go foraging and see if you can find some.  Sloe gin makes such a great twist on a kir royale - just put a little in a champagne flute and top with your choice of fizz. 

I also picked up some apples when I was in the countryside at the weekend and made some super-simple apple schnapps when I got home. 

Rachel Redlaw apple schnapps

This really couldn't be easier - just core and then chop up a couple of big apples (cookers or eaters, both work, just give a different flavour).

Pop all the little bits of apple into jars or bottles then add a tablespoon or so of sugar syrup.  

Don't be put off by making a sugar syrup as it's really easy and only takes minutes (well, you do then need to allow it time to cool of course).  

I've usually got some in the fridge in case an urgent need (yes, need) for vodka sours arises (sugar syrup method in the vodka sours recipe).

Rachel Redlaw apple schnapps

To be honest, for the apple schapps, you could mix a tablespoon of boiling water with a tablespoon of sugar and use that, it'll be absolutely fine.

Then top up with vodka and that's it! Do make sure the vodka completely covers the pieces of apple as they're going to go a bit brown anyway (and that's fine) but if some are above the surface and poking into the air they are REALLY going to go brown. (Still fine - just when you notice it, cover them with vodka - and yes I'm talking to myself here!).

Leave for a few weeks in a cool dark place and turn occasionally. Strain before pouring back into nice bottles to serve or give as presents.

Rachel Redlaw apple schnapps

I'll be back to share the finished article nearer Christmas ... this is a lovely drink to serve very chilled in small glasses.