How To Make Damson Rum – Simple 3 Ingredient Recipe

So this post was supposed to be about making Damson Gin, however, as I stood in the supermarket in the drinks aisle looking at an empty shelf of own-brand gin (the cheapest variety), it was clear that everyone else seemed to be onto the same idea. Either that or there are a lot of budget gin drinkers in my local area…


So I had to improvise, because alcohol is expensive and I am all about making things on a budget, and I had a bumper crop of damsons this year from my recent visit to Doxey Wood Cottage. While Damson Gin is a Christmas tradition in our house, it is not one of those traditions that isn’t open to a little tweaking here and there. For example, last year I had a large amount of freshly picked apples and blackberries instead of damsons, so I decided to adapt this recipe to make apple and blackberry vodka.

That is the beauty of this simple recipe, it can be adapted to make so many variations. Really, whatever you fancy. So in the absence of gin, I scanned the shelves and found a rather large and inexpensive bottle of white rum and thought ‘why not, let’s give it a go…’

For your ingredients you will need:

Rum/Gin/Vodka – or any other alcohol base of choice.


Damsons (Again, or any other fruit)

The great thing about this recipe is that because you are adding so much flavour to the rum it doesn’t matter about the quality – any cheap, own-brand supermarket variety will suffice.

There is also not really any measuring involved – it is all dependent on the size of the jar you are making it in, and goes on the basic concept of thirds – a third alcohol, a third sugar, and a third fruit.


  1. Prepare your Jar: I use a large 2 litre Kilner jar so you can make a big batch. Make sure that it is clean and dry before you start adding your ingredients.
  2. Prepare your Damsons: If you have picked yours fresh then it is worth giving them a quick rinse off under the tap – just to make sure there are no bugs and dirt still clinging on. Also check to see that all the fruit you are using is good to go – that is, that nothing has turned and started to mould since being picked.
  3. Prick your Fruit: You want to make sure that all that lovely fruitiness mixes with your alcohol, so as you put your fruit in the jar, prick it several times with a fork. Fill your jar up to a third of the way with fruit.

img_2372 4. Add your Alcohol and Sugar: Then add your alcohol up to the two thirds point on your jar, and then add your sugar.
I choose to do it this way so I can fill up more on fruit and alcohol and then limit the sugar. adding a third is the traditional way – but it is a lot of the white stuff! So, if you are watching your sugar intake you can adjust this measurement as much as you’d like. This year I filled up with fruit and alcohol to the five/sixths point and then added my sugar. There is not right or wrong measurement, it just depends on how much sweetness you would like.

5. Give It All A Good Stir: Then all you need to do is give it a good stir to try and dissolve all of your sugar. You will probably find that some will settle at the bottom and refuse to dissolve at this point, but don’t worry, it will eventually.

6. The Final, and Longest Step: Leave in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks, stirring occasionally. You need to leave it at least this long to infuse, but I will make mine in September and leave it until Christmas time. Once it’s ready, strain your alcohol through a sieve or some muslin, bottle up, and you’re ready to go!

This is a fabulous Christmas treat in our house, and makes great gifts (if you can bring yourself to give it away!). I’d definitely recommend giving it a go yourself, and let me know if you come up with any other interesting flavour combinations.

I have tried one different recipe this year which I will be calling Christmas Spiced Vodka. To that I added a sliced orange, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and all spice berries to the recipe above. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.



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