- 6lb Victoria Plums
- flesh of one ripe Banana, sliced
- 1/2 lb Raisins
- 1 tsp Citric Acid
- 1 tsp Pectolayse
- 1/2 tsp Tannin
- 2 & 3/4 lb Sugar
- 5 Pints Boiling Water
- 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
- Sherry or High Alcohol Yeast
Victoria Plum Sherry is a bit of a slow-burner, but worth every day, week, month & year it takes to mature.
In 3 years time, when you uncork your first bottle, please feel free to raise a toast in my general direction. As one of the finest alcoholic beverages known to mankind washes over your taste buds, sit back, put your feet up & be thankful all is well with your particular world. So are you ready to begin the odyssey that is Victoria Plum Sherry?
Firstly, wash the plums and wipe with a clean damp cloth to remove any bloom (This can cause your finished sherry to be hazy). Give them another rinse. Stick the radio on, switch off your phone and start removing the stones. You can do this with a knife (as in the photos), or if you are doing a larger batch by squishing between your fingers. Be careful however, as the stones can be sharp and cause a cut or two.
Put the prepared plums in a clean sterilised bucket and add the Raisins & Banana.
Pour on 5 pints of boiling water, then leave to cool. When cool, add the Citric Acid, Tannin & Pectolayse. Leave for 24 hours. After 24 hours, stir in the Yeast Nutrient & sprinkle on the Yeast. Ferment for 7-10 days – stir every day, and when the fruit no longer rises to the top to form a crust, it’s ready for the next stage.
Strain the fermenting loveliness through a muslin bag, stir in the Sugar & stir until the Sugar has dissolved. Pour this into a sterilised demijohn, fit an airlock, and put somewhere warm to ferment. Check for a build up of sediment and rack off when needed, topping up with water. Once the fermentation has finished, taste and if it’s too dry, add 1-3 oz of Sugar. Swap the airlock for a cotton wool ball (see photo to right) – this allows air to get to the wine, changing its flavour. Let fermentation take place, taste again, add Sugar if needed. When you’re happy fermentation has ceased, rack off again. This whole process can take 12-18 months, so keep a note of what you added & when. Store for a further 12 months (with cotton wool ball as a stopper). At this point your Victoria Plum Sherry is very drinkable, and I won’t blame you if you can’t resist a tipple (it’s a good idea to make a double batch so you can taste one demijohn and leave the other well alone!). However, if you bottle it for a further 12 months, it will smooth out even more and you’ll be punching the air with every sip or slurp.