This year I have tried a new brew called Pontack Sauce, somewhere between witchcraft and magic; this a glorious concoction made primarily from elderberries, vinegar and spices. I read several recipes and having not managed to pick many berries this was my final version.
Strip elderberries from their stems and put into a pyrex casserole dish with a good depth of vinegar. Place in a 50oC oven overnight. The next day some magic will have happened, the house will be cloaked in a vinegary smell and the mix will have changed into a deep port colour. Then fry off some red onion and strain the mix into the pan squishing well to make sure all the goodness but not the skins has passed through. Add mace blades, whole cloves and juniper berries. Bubble in a pan until satisfyingly brewed. Strain and bottle.
Wait seven years.
Seriously – this is what the recipes seem consistent about; it improves with age and is at its best in seven years time. I doubt I’ll wait that long so will take small samples periodically to test.