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Sustenance and energy maintenance are vital requirements of the Team Demijohn Elderflower pick and this year I decided to supplement it with a sugar boost of a particularly appropriate variety: Elderflower cake made with our delicious elderflower vinegar and the addition of lemon zest. Being easier to transport to ravenous pickers and plentiful enough to feed a substantial team I opted for a traybake but this would equally suit a round cake with adjustments for baking time. Having experimented with both a butter cream and a drizzle topping the buttercream was voted the winner!

Elderflower and Lemon Cake

Elderflower products have become more popular in the last few years, and some companies have resorted to using synthetic elderflower flavourings to meet demand. Not us though! We believe that nothing can compare to the fresh, floral aroma and smell of real elderflowers. However, to get the real unique flavour of elderflowers requires hard work as they are not available to buy commercially, and it requires a team of pickers to brave the stinging nettles and be hoisted up on each other’s shoulders to reach higher up to hand pick the blooms. Another challenge is that the elderflower season is very short in the UK, being just between the end of May and mid June. The flowers should only be harvested on dry, warm days, with the buds fully open which makes it particular difficult because of the varying unpredicabilty of the Summer weather in the UK.

Elderflower products such as cordials, 'champagnes', and liqueurs are fairly well known in the UK and Northern Europe, but there was a huge worldwide explosion in interest in elderflowers, last year in 2018, because the Duke & Duchess of Sussex chose a lemon and elderflower cake with a Swiss meringue buttercream for their Royal Wedding. Meghan and Harry’s cake was made by Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes in London, and her recipe used over 200 Amalfi lemons and 10 bottles of elderflower cordial.

Elderflower and Lemon Cake

The flavour and aroma of elderflowers is best preserved in vinegar hence why I chose to use our elderflower vinegar in this cake recipe, since it also adds some of the sharpness that is usually provided by the lemons since I opted to use lemon zest instead of whole lemons. The unique taste of elderflower is quite difficult to put your finger on, it is floral, and has subtle hints of tropical lycee or pear, and just like tomatoes are enchanced by basil, the flavour of the elderflower is equally enhanced when married with the citrusy aroma and flavour of lemons.

Elderflower Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 225g of unsalted butter
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 275g of self raising flour
  • 2 level tsp of baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp of Demijohn Elderflower vinegar
  • the finely grated zest of one lemon

Buttercream ingredients

  • 200g of unsalted butter
  • 300g of icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp of elderflower vinegar

How to make our elderflower lemon cake with buttercream

  • Preheat the oven to 160C or 140C in fan oven.
  • Blend the cake ingredients well and spread in a greaseproof lined baking tray (mine measures approximated 20x30cm).
  • Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  • When baked a skewer will come out cleanly.
  • Blend the ingredients for the buttercream and once the cake has cooled remove it from the tin and greaseproof paper and spread the buttercream evenly over the top of the cake.
  • Cut into squares as required - My tin makes about 30 squares of florally sugary deliciousness.

Hungry Elderflower Pickers ready for Elderflower and Lemon Cake

Flora's Fabulous Crostini. A deliciously easy starter for any dinner party.

The arrival of the fresh 2018 harvest of wonderfully springlike bright green Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil coincided with a very hungry teenager during a wet weekend in March 2019. The result was the creation of some delicious Italian Crostini, using our fresh Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which were generously shared with all the family.

Ever since our visit to Villa Montalbano Estate in 2002, to check on the olive harvest when the children were tiny, we have all raved about the enormous trays of crostini produced by Silvana, a lovely local neighbour of the Estate, which we wolfed in moments.

Flora's Fabulous Crostini came deliciously close. Crostini are often used as a quick and delicious starter in Italy, or as something to nibble on during a drinks party. 


  • 2 Baguettes sliced into 1cm thin rounds
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Pesto – the best quality you can buy, even better if you can make your own
  • Chesnut mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Plenty of Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


Flora's Fabulous Crostini on their baking tray

First slice the baguette into thin rounds, and lay the slices on a baking tray. Bake at about 180C in the oven for about 5 minutes until the bread feels crisp and is just beginning to brown. Don't be tempted to leave it too long.

Topping 1: Chop the mushrooms fairly finely and soften with olive oil and garlic in a pan. Season to taste. Spoon onto 1/3 of the baked crostini. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Topping 2: Finely chop ripe fresh tomatoes and mix with a spoonful of pesto, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spoon onto the 2nd 1/3 of the baked crostini.

Topping 3: Mix some pesto with a liberal amount of Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make it a slightly runnier consistency than the jar variety. Spoon onto the remaining crostini.

Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more. Grate fresh parmesan or pecorino over the crostini and serve.

Relevant topics:

Other Starter Recipes

Mead and Lemon Syllabub

If you are looking for a deliciously creamy pudding that is simple and quick to make, our Mead and Lemon Syllabub recipe is the perfect answer. The sweet honey taste of our Traditional Mead, combined with zest of lemon and whipped cream is irresistible. A dinner party favourite for sure!


  • Zest and juice of 1 Lemon 
  • 100ml Traditional Mead 14%
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 300ml Pouring Double Cream


Gently simmer the lemon zest and its juice, Traditional Mead and sugar in a pan to dissolve sugar and release the oils from the lemon.

Remove from heat and strain the syrup into a cool bowl, then add the double cream. Whisk until thick and then spoon into a Champagne coupe glass and chill for about an hour. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Related topics

Meady Mouthfulls - Honey Mead Cookies

Rhubarb and Mead Pavlova

Ball of Mead

Pea and Mint Salad

Posted in Latest News All Recipes Food Recipes Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 27th August 2017

Pea and Mint SaladThis is a fantastically quick and easy salad recipe using our first class Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil, that I use regularly to accompany our light lunches or sometimes a slightly heavier supper dish at home.



Using a fork, prod out the garden peas into a bowl, rinse and drain. Add a small amount of roughly chopped fresh apple mint. Dress with Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Apple Vinegar and stir gently until well mixed.

Serve alongside your favourite light lunch or use as a healthy starter on its own. Happy munching!


Some more salad recipes to try:

How to make 7 healthy salad dressing recipes 

Chocolate Rum Cake

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Cakes & Baking Dessert Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 16th March 2016

A delicious new Chocolate Rum Cake recipe made with our Chocolate Rum LiqueurWorking at Demijohn HQ is not too insufferable when it consists of baking a Chocolate Rum Cake made with our dark Chocolate Rum Liqueur 29.5%. And I don't think the family were too miserable about it either.

I adapted this recipe very slightly from enthusiastic food blogger Sara Jayne Jones, who wrote passionately about our Chocolate Rum Liqueur 29.5% in her blog.

It's a great way to make an indulgent treat for an adult chocoholic and enjoy the strong cacao flavours of our dark Chocolate Rum Liqueur.

Our Chocolate Rum Cake is made in 3 easy steps, starting with the sponge, then filling and finally the icing.

Chocolate Rum Sponge

Sponge Ingredients:

  • 2 8” loose based cake tins
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 75g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 100g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 50ml Demijohn Chocolate Rum Liqueur 29.5%

Sponge Preparation:

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180°C/160°C {Fan Assisted]
Grease the cake tins and line the bases with parchment.

Break the chocolate into pieces and together with the cubed butter melt it in a microwave, stirring occasionally.
Allow to cool slightly.

Separate the eggs, then whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until creamy.
Add the rum and cooled chocolate mixture to the yolks and mix well.
Gently fold in the sieved flour.

Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff then lightly fold into the mixture.
Distribute cake mixture between the tins and level gently.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or when a skewer comes out of the cake cleanly.

Raspberry Cream Filling

Filling Ingredients:

Filling Preparation:

Save some raspberries back for decorating the cake. Mash the remaining raspberries with a fork.

Mix the cream, Chocolate Rum Liqueur and icing sugar on high speed until soft peaks form in the mixture.

Gently fold the mashed raspberries in with a spatula.

Chocolate Ganache Icing

Icing Ingredients:

  • 250g Dark [Plain] Fair-Trade Chocolate
  • 235ml Double Cream

And finally, the fun bit, the eating!Icing Preparation:

Break the chocolate into squares and place into a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat, bringing it to the boil very carefully.

Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate, whisk until smooth
Allow the ganache to cool a little before topping the cake with it and decorating with the remaining raspberries.

And now finally put it altogether and enjoy with the family ...... delicious!


My deliciously simple White Truffle Oil Pesto PastaI experimented with our new White Truffle Oil and the result was this indulgently rich pesto slathered on some tagliatelle pasta and pan fried chestnut mushrooms. Served with a simple rocket salad and a glass of white burgundy it made an indulgent and intensely flavoured summer's supper.

This is my recipe for tagliatelle with White Truffle Oil Pesto and chestnut mushrooms.



In the food processor put 50g fresh rocket, 1 garlic clove, 30g crushed walnuts, zest of 1 lemon, 30g grated parmesan, 60ml White Truffle Oil and 60ml Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil and blitz to a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. This won't be as smooth as pesto from a jar but that's part of its appeal.

Gently pan fry in a tablespoon of Monterosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil a generous helping of thinly sliced chestnut mushrooms until the mushrooms are just beginning to crisp.

Stir the pesto through tagliatelle and then toss the mushrooms gently through the pasta.

Serve with a shaving of parmesan on top and a rocket salad and truffle in!


Tayberry Vinegar and Asparagus Tripoline RecipeIt is now public knowledge that I absolutely love pasta! Regardless of how hungry I am, I always have room for pasta especially when it is a simple dish using deliciously fresh ingredients. My Tayberry and Asparagus Tripoline recipe, using our deliciously fruity handmade Tayberry Vinegar is exactly that. Simple to make, magical to eat and with tiny amounts of washing up required.  I urge you to have a go at trying to make it.

Ingredients (for two)

  • 6/8 fresh British Asparagus Spears
  • 2 tbsp Tayberry Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 200g Tripoline Pasta (or other ribbon cut pasta such as Tagliatelle)
  • 80g Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Handful of fresh watercress
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt & pepper


Chop onion, garlic, bacon, asparagus and watercress before you start. The asparagus spears should only have their hard ends removed, the other elements in chunks. Soften the onion, garlic and bacon in a heavy based frying pan with a splash of our Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil. At the same time, in a separate pan, cook your pasta.

Once contents of frying pan has browned, add a good splash of Tayberry Vinegar to the mix and allow onion to caramelise slightly. Cook your asparagus for just 2/3 minutes over boiling water, ideally use your pasta water and until both pasta and asparagus are "al dente," firm but not hard. 

Add the cooked pasta to your frying pan, mix well with the onion, garlic and bacon so all the lovely juices coat the pasta. Then add your fresh watercress. Stir quickly on a low heat and finally season with salt and pepper. (NB. Do not be tempted to cook too long after adding the watercress or you will ruin the desired raw nature of the watercress and it will turn stringy!).

To Serve

Serve on large warm plates, laying your cooked asparagus spears on the top of the dish. Finally drizzle a little more Tayberry Vinegar and Olive Oil over the dish before grating parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on as required.

An accompanying side salad of green leaves, cucumber and tomatoes, dressed with more Tayberry Vinegar and Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a good dry white table wine to drink will make this recipe a most excellent treat for lunch or supper. 

Meady Mouthfuls - Honey Mead Cookies

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Cakes & Baking Dessert , by Frances Ferguson, on 26th March 2015

Delicious Meady Mouthful Cookies on a plateI had a nervously experimental attempt at making these the other day, really in preparation for a family tea party during the Easter holidays.

Much to my surprise they turned out like a very edible little rock cake, and a potential Easter gift for all the family to enjoy. In fact, since the children now tell me that they don't eat figs I've almost scoffed the lot!


Total time:30 mins

  • 130 g sugar + sugar to dust the cookies/cake
  • 100 ml unsalted butter
  • 100 ml Demijohn Traditional Honey Mead 14%
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder (8 g approx.)
  • 150 g of chopped dried figs
  • 300 g plain flour


1. Beat together the sugar and butter and then slowly add the mead. Add the chopped dried figs, then mix in the flour sifted with baking powder.

2. Let the dough rest for about ten minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Using your hands, shape the dough into walnut-size balls, then press them gently to flatten.

5. Coat the cookies with sugar to make them crisp once baked.

6. Space them evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden but still soft in the centre.

7. Cool completely on the pan on a wire rack them from the oven and let cool in the pan.

They keep well for a few days in a tin box.

Scorched Asparagus Spears

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Starters Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 20th May 2014

Scortched British Asparagus Spears on our BBQBritish asparagus season is sadly short, starting officially on 23rd April and runs through until 21st June each year. It is such a fantastic tasting root vegetable, creating a buzz of excitement each year in our family to the point where we almost overdose on the stuff!

There are many great recipes that use asparagus, such as our Pici Asparagus with Balsamic for example. However, non are as simple as this one, our Scorched Asparagus Spears. Using the very best of our ingredients to dress the asparagus can produce a quick starter or a light lunch in literally minutes.

This recipe serves 2 to 3 people.


25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar


Wash the asparagus spears thoroughly and then trim the root ends by about an inch to remove just the stringy section. A good tip to know where to cut or break the speak is to hold the root end between thumb and forefinger in one hand and the centre of the spear in the other. Bend the shaft until it snaps. Consume the top section and use the remainder for soup later.

To cook, simply place on a hot BBQ and turn as the spears scortch. Do not be tempted to overcook as they dry out, this process should only take about a minute or two maximum. Cooking can also be achieved in a very hot frying pan.

Once cooked lay on the serving plate and dress with a little 25 Year Old Tagliavini Aceto Balsamico di Modena Extra Vecchio, then generously with Villa Montalbano Extra Virgin Olive Oil before finally cracking salt over the dish to taste. 

The asparagus can be served on its own for starter or with parma ham and salad to make a light lunch.

Traditional Bruschetta

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Starters Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 29th August 2013

Traditional BruschettaA brisk yomp up a hill in the sunshine with an ecstatic dog this morning has left me ravenous and looking for a reward for such toil. Our new Cretan Sitia Extra Virgin Olive Oil beckons and I am already anticipating an evening drink at the garden table accompanied by some traditional Bruschetta. This simple recipe, otherwise known in Tuscany as Fettunta, is the traditional way of savouring the first olive oil harvest of the season. Since the sun is now shining here at Demijohn HQ we shall enjoy it as a celebratory herald of the great summer we have had!



Slice the bread thickly and toast it until just golden. Slice a garlic clove in half and rub the bread with the clove all over. Drizzle generously with the olive oil and eat immediately. Adorn your bruschetta with a basil leaf or some anchovies if you're feeling exotic!

Traditional Mead 14%As the blossom is now exuberantly blossoming outside Demijohn HQ it is a delight to bump into the occasional bumble bee during my increasingly frequent forays into the garden. I hope soon to start encountering a honey bee too and such thoughts bring Mead to my mind. Mead was something I had rather dismissed as belonging to a time of wenches and wassailing until we found our Traditional Mead 14% and discovered a much dryer, more perfumed drink than I had imagined. Its strong floral flavours survive the rigours of cooking and so I was rather excited to find this recipe for a Moroccan style Chicken dish last week.


  • 10 free range chicken thighs with bone in and skin on
  • 2 tsp salt 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 120g dried apricots
  • 1onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lazy ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 350ml Traditional Mead 14%
  • 50g flaked almonds.


Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then brown the pieces in olive oil in a heavy frying or saute pan for about 5 minutes each side. Remove them to an ovenproof dish and scatter the apricots over and around the chicken. Pour off all but 3 tbsps of fat from the pan and soften the onion in it, adding the garlic and ginger followed by the spices and remaining salt and pepper once the onion is almost completely softened.

Add the Traditional Mead to the pan, deglaze and simmer for about 5 minutes until the juices thicken slightly. Pour these over the chicken, cover the dish and bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 1 hour until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove the cover 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Toast the flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and sprinkle them over the chicken before serving with couscous.

Rhubarb and Mead Pavlova

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Cakes & Baking Dessert Dinner Party , by Frances Ferguson, on 16th May 2013

Rhubarb and Mead PavlovaThe sun is shining and with both the rhubarb patch and the hens exuberantly prolific at the moment it seems almost a necessity to adapt that most summery of puddings, the Pavlova, to the fruits of the Scottish springtime. The result is a Rhubarb Pavlova perfumed and gently flavoured with the musky sweetness of our Traditional Mead 14% and a tiny smidgen of Rhubarb Vodka Liqueur 20.5%.


  • 3 egg whites
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Rhubarb Vodka Liqueur 20.5%
  • 400g pink rhubarb stems cut into 5cm lengths
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 4 tbsps Traditional Mead 14%
  • 4 tbsp full fat yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 100 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with non stick paper. Whisk the egg whites until stiff then add 200g sugar in 3 stages until all combined .Whisk in the Rhubarb Vodka. Spread the meringe mix onto the baking tray in a circle leaving a slightly higher rim around the edge and bake for 2 and a half hours. Then allow to cool and remove the baking paper before moving it to a serving plate.

Lay the rhubarb in a shallow pan one layer thick and sprinkle over a little water and 50g sugar. Poach over a medium heat for 10 minutes then allow it to cool. Meanwhile whip the cream and 1 tbsp Traditional Mead together. Fold the yoghurt and remaining Mead into the cream then gently fold in half the rhubarb until it looks marbled.

Spread the cream and rhubarb mixture onto the meringue base then top with the remaining rhubarb and its syrup.

Pici Asparagus with Balsamic VinegarI absolutely love pasta! Well done Italy for inventing such a food. However, you do need to have the odd inspirational thought when creating a pasta dish to ensure you don't get stuck in a "Pasta Bake Rut" or PBR for short.

Messing about at the stove last week I came up with this delightful little dish using fresh British Asparagus which has just come into season (and thanks to the long Winter, I do mean just!).

My pici pasta with asparagus uses our 25 year old Balsamic Vinegar and is fabulously quick to make. It also serves two good eaters, is superbly easy to wash up and whoever you are making it for will think you are a legend in the kitchen. So how is it done?

Ingredients (for two)

25 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar


Chop onion, garlic, pancetta, asparagus and coriander before you start. The asparagus spears should be chopped in thirds, the other elements in chunks. Soften the onion, garlic and pancetta in a heavy based frying pan with a tbsp full of Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil. At same time, in a separate pan, cook your pasta.

Once browned, remove the onion, garlic and pancetta from pan and place to one side keeping warm. Add asparagus to pan and fry hard until the spears are looking scorched in places. Add back in the onion, garlic and pancetta mix, chopped coriander and another tbsp of olive oil. Now check pasta is ready, it should be "al dente," firm but not hard, drain and add to frying pan. Season with salt and pepper and mix contents of frying pan well on a low heat.

To Serve

Serve on large warm plates and drizzle our 25 year old Tagliavini Aceto Balsamico Extra Vecchio sparingly over each dish, adding grated parmesan cheese as required. An accompanying salad of green leaves, dressed with our Kabbadates Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a good rich red table wine to drink will make this dish fit for any dinner party. Forget the PBR issue, anyone hungry?

Sloe Gin 25%I had an experimental evening last night with duck breasts and a discovered remnant of Demijohn Sloe Gin 25%, a leftover from a very energetic massed sledging outing only a couple of months ago. The verdict: a success, improved with a splash of lemon vinegar.


  • 2 shallots
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 60-100ml Demijohn Sloe Gin 25%
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • a dash of Demijohn Lemon Vinegar


Slice the shallots thinly and soften in a frying pan using the tiniest smidgen of olive oil. When softened set the shallots aside in a warmed dish and wipe the pan clean with kitchen roll then heat the pan to smoking hot. Having scored the skin of the duck breasts and seasoned with salt and pepper fry them in the pan for about 5 minutes until the skin is just starting to crisp. Drain the fat from the pan and turn the duck breasts over, cooking for a further 3-4 minutes until the meat is still just pink inside. Remove the duck breasts to the dish of shallots and lower the heat under the pan. Now slake the pan with the Sloe Gin, allowing enough to make a jus for each duck breast. Remember that the gin will reduce in quantity so don't be too sparing. Add the star anise and bubble the gin until it reduces by about a third and takes on a slightly syrupy consistency. Add a dash of lemon vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste then pour this jus over the duck breasts.

Served with creamy mashed potato and mountains of springy green vegetables this seems to be quite well received!

Seville Orange Marmalade Ice CreamThis deliciously grown-up ice-cream is wonderful served on top of freshly peeled orange segments.



Mix together the ingredients adding the Gin sparingly. Check the taste and adjust the quantity of Seville Orange Gin accordingly. Chill the mixture for half an hour then churn in an ice cream maker. Freeze in an ice cream tub remembering to remove it from the freezer half an hour before serving to allow it to soften a little.

Spiced Rum Liqueur 20%I have always loved brown bread ice-cream, I think it's an inspired recipe that sounds so worthy, yet tastes so delicious. And now I have found a way to make it a bit more decadent.


  • 84g wholemeal bread
  • 56g granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 pint double cream
  • approximately 100ml Spiced Rum Liqueur 20%


Whiz the bread to crumbs in a food processor then toast briefly in a dry frying pan turning them until they are golden brown. Melt the sugar in the water in a heavy pan, don't stir, just shake it occassionally until the sugar is evenly melted, then boil rapidly for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the breadcrumbs until the sugar syrup cools into crystals on the crumbs. Stir the Spiced Rum gently into the cream. Be prepared to taste until reaching the right flavour, not too much Spiced Rum, just enough to taste it in the cream. Now whip the cream mixture and once whipped gently fold in the crumb mixture. Freeze in an ice cream tub and remember to remove it from the freezer about half an hour before serving.

Morello Cherry Brandy Liqueur 17%This recipe has been kindly sent to us by Angela Wilson in response to our call for recipes using our products. Angela has been rewarded with a £30 demijohn gift voucher as a thank you for this wonderful recipe.



Put the ham into the tightest fitting pan you can find and cover with the cherry coke. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 2 and a half hours (for a ham for 4-6). Preheat the oven to 200C.

Remove the ham from the pan after simmering and place it on a roasting tray on top of some foil and cut off any extra fat layer on the top, leaving just a thin layer. Score diamonds into the fat and stick a clove into each diamond.

To a saucepan add the cherry jam, Demijohn Morello Cherry Brandy, the Demijohn Raspberry Vinegar and the smoked paprika. Stir over a high heat constantly until the glaze thickens. When ready, pour over the ham, and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Let it rest before carving.

The author recommends that this goes particularly well with a glass of Morello Fizz

Atholl Brose was traditionally drunk on Burns Night in Scotland and used to sort the men from the boys! This variation of the traditionally recipe retains the oatmeal to make a cranachan type pudding to be enjoyed by all.



Whip the double cream until stiff, then gently stir in the toasted pinhead oatmeal and honey. Chill and just before serving, mix in the Demijohn’s Finest Blended Scotch Whisky 40%.

Anything else I should know?

The name Atholl Brose is supposed to derive from the tale of the Duke of Atholl's capture of his enemy, the Earl of Ross, in 1475. The Duke was supposed to have filled a well, from which the Earl liked to drink, with this magical potion. Ross drank deeply and was captured.

Cider Brandy Camembert

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Starters Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

The Cheeseboard Drinks SelectionIf you like cheese and need something for your nibbles at a drinks party, then this might be the perfect soloution.



Puncture the cheese several times with a knife. Dribble the Cider Brandy over the cheese allowing it to soak into the puncture holes. Place the cheese in a preheated oven (to 180C) and allow to bake for 15 to 20 minutes until runny. Eat immediately - dunk crisps and repeat!

Why not try our Cheeseboard Drinks Selection, a special gift for cheese lovers

Bramble VinegarJohn Quigley’s Hot smoked salmon, ruby grapefruit, shaved fennel, pistachio and watercress salad with minty crème fraiche and Bramble Vinegar dressing.


  • 1 Ruby grapefruit segmented
  • 1 small fennel bulb very finely sliced
  • A handful of watercress or rocket
  • 300g hot smoked salmon flaked into bite size pieces
  • A small handful chopped pistacchios
  • 6 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 4 tsp Bramble Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mint sauce


Combine the crème fraiche, bramble vinegar and mint sauce in bowl and mix together, ideally to the consistency of single cream, if not add a little water. Divide and arrange the grapefruit, fennel, watercress and salmon between 4 plates, drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle on pistachios.

John Quigley is Chef and patron of the well respected Red Onion Restaurant in Glasgow and is always welcome at Demijohn!

Elderflower Vinegar and Lemon Oil BallThis is a simple to make vinaigrette which was first invented by Mrs Wilson of Biggar, one of many enthusiastic Demijohn customers.



Add the Elderflower Vinegar and Yorkshire Lemon Rapeseed Oil to a jug with a wide neck. Grate a small amount of lemon jest to the mixture. Adjust for salt and pepper. Pour complete mixture into an old Demijohn bottle of at least 300ml capacity and shake vigourously. Use to dress green leaf salads.

Delicously delightful, thankyou Mrs Wilson!

Related topics

Cider Brandy Sauce

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Main Dishes Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Somerset 10 Year Old Cider Brandy 42%If you have ever thought that chicken needs a little help to become interesting, we this recipe might be just the ticket!


  • 25g sliced shallots
  • 2 peeled cloves of garlic
  • 20g of unsalted butter
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50ml 10 year old West Country Cider Spirit 42%
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 50ml double cream
  • 180g unsalted butter


Soften 25g sliced shallots and 2 peeled cloves of garlic in 20g of unsalted butter. Add 5 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add 50ml 10 year old West Country Spirit and reduce down to almost nothing. Add 500ml chicken stock and reduce by half, then add 50ml double cream. Whisk in 180g unsalted butter in small pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Delicious served with chicken, but is also great with pork.

Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur 23%A generous glass or two of our Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur 23% stirred into the juices of a roast duck or venison joint will make a gravy that will add enormous joie de vivre to your dish.

So simple anyone can do it!

Related Topics:

The Tale of the Brilliant Bramble - When is a Bramble a Blackberry?

Sausages with a red onion and bramble glaze recipe

Creamy Ginger Pork

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Main Dishes Dinner Party Meat Recipes , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Ginger Wine 14.5%If you like to taste your food, then this pork dish using our handmade Ginger Wine 14.5% will impress.


  • 3 Pork fillets
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 140ml Ginger Wine 14.5%
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 140ml sour cream
  • Preserved stem ginger


Slice the pork fillets in half lengthwise without cutting right through. Flatten them out and beat them, then cut across the centre to make 6 escalopes. Coat them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a pan and sauté the escalopes for about 4 minutes each side until cooked through. Remove them and keep warm. Add the Ginger Wine, lemon juice, and 56ml water to the pan, stir well and reduce to half. Stir in the sour cream and 3 pieces of ginger preserved in syrup, drained and chopped. Bring it to the boil again until the sauce thickens and then serve poured over the escalopes.

Serve with mashed potato and mountains of gently steamed leaf spinach. Delicious!

Ginger Wine 14.5%This delicious recipe will happily serve 4 hungry people.


  • 1lb rhubarb (trimmed weight) cut into 1" lengths
  • 2dsp vanilla sugar (or regular caster sugar)
  • 1/2 layer of sponge cake
  • 8 tbsp Ginger Wine 14.5%
  • 1/2pt thick custard
  • 4tsp Greek yoghurt


Pre-heat the oven to high (200C). Put the rhubarb into a roasting tin and sprinkle with the sugar. Roast for 20 minutes, turning over half way through. Allow to cool. Cut the cake into 1cm cubes and place in 4 large wine glasses. Sprinkle evenly with half the Ginger Wine. Top with the cooled rhubarb. Sprinkle with the remaining wine. Top with the custard and refigerate. Plop the yoghurt on top before serving. Enjoy!

Festival Blackcurrant Gin Ice CreamOur Festival Blackcurrant Ice-Cream is made with our deliciously rich Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20% which has been popular with our customers since we opened up shop in Edinburgh in 2004. No wonder then that it makes a very delicious ice-cream!


  • 500g washed blackcurrants
  • 150g sugar 600ml double cream
  • 60ml Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20%


Stew the blackcurrants with the sugar and 3 or 4 tbsps water until the fruit is soft. Puree them, then sieve out the seeds and allow to cool. Stir in the double cream and Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes then churn in an ice-cream maker for 20 to 30 minutes.

Gooseberry Fool

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Gooseberry Gin Liqueur 17%Gooseberries are such a wonderful British fruit and this recipe is one of our nations favourites!



Simmer the gooseberries with 2 dessert spoons of caster sugar until they are soft. Drain the juice off into a bowl and blend the gooseberries with 1 glass of Gooseberry Gin Liqueur. Add gooseberry gin, sugar and reserved cooking juice to taste until a soft pulp is achieved. Sieve the blended pulp to remove the seeds and fold into an equal quantity of ½ whipped cream and ½ greek yoghurt. Serve with very thin shortbread.

Poached Pears

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Elderberry and Port Liqueur 17%This is fantastically simple, yet delicious recipe for a lunch or dinner party dessert.



Peel the pears and add to a pan with the Elderberry and Port Liqueur. Simmer together for about 1 hour turning the pears occasionally, until the pears are soft. Remove the pears and reduce the liquid until it is syrupy. Pour it over the pears and serve with the good vanilla dairy ice-cream.

Related Topics

The Cheeseboard Drinks Selection

Speedy Zabaglione

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Quick & Easy Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 12th March 2013

Somerset Pomona 20%This is a Zabaglione recipe of the most untraditional nature and is perfect for whizzing up for unexpected guests.



Using a hand whisk beat the ice-cream and Somerset Pomona 20% together until the mixture is cold and fluffy but not frozen. Serve immediately in champagne saucers.

Anything else I should know?

This recipe can be used with just about all our hand made liqueurs. Have fun experimenting!

Summer Pudding

Posted in Food Recipes Cakes & Baking Dessert Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 8th March 2013

Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20%This simple recipe is a great way of not only feeding a family but impressing a room full of dinner party guests.



Line a flexible pudding bowl with one layer of bread slices. Simmer together any summer fruit, including raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants, brambles, a small number of blackcurrants, with sugar to taste. Once gently softened allow it to cool then sieve off some of the juice and replace it with Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20% (reserve the juice in case it is needed later). Pour the Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur laced fruit into the pudding bowl. Ensure that the juice soaks into the bread, colouring it all. Add the reserved juice and any additional Blackcurrant Gin as required. Top the pudding bowl with more bread slices, cover, and weight gently. This can be frozen until needed then turned out onto a serving dish, thawed and served with pouring cream.

Anything else I should know?

The Blackcurrant Gin Liqueur 20% used can be replaced with Raspberry Vodka Liqueur 22% or Morello Cherry Brandy Liqueur 17% as preferred.

Highland Bread and Butter Pudding

Posted in All Recipes Food Recipes Dessert Dinner Party , by Angus Ferguson, on 8th March 2013

The Highland and Island Malt Stack

This delicious Highland Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe serves 3 with a good appetite and love for great whisky such as our Glen Moray 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky!



Butter the 6 slices of white bread, remove crusts and cut into quarters. Layer the bread in an shallow ovenproof dish sprinkling sultanas between the layers. Pour over 4 tbsps of Glen Moray 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Heat 600ml milk but do not boil and mix together with 4 beaten eggs and 25g caster sugar. Gently pour this over the bread and butter layers and leave to stand for a few minutes. Sprinkle over a little brown sugar and bake at about 180 degrees for 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Raspberry and Lemongrass TrifleThis delicious recipe, using our much loved Raspberry Vodka 22%, serves 8 to 10 people and can be enjoyed by the whole family either at Christmas or another such large family gathering. The inspiration behind it comes from one of our most enthusiastic customers, Jackie Hancock. So thankyou Jackie for sharing your family secret with us all!


  • 600ml Water
  • 400g Caster Sugar
  • 50g Lemongrass (3-4 sticks, cut in half lengthways or crushed)
  • 300g fresh Raspberries 
  • 16 Trifle Sponges 
  • 4-5 tablespoons Raspberry Vodka Liqueur 22%
  • 600ml Single Cream 
  • 8 Egg Yolks 
  • 500g Double Cream


Either one large glass bowl or two smaller bowls depending on your party.


1. Make a syrup with the water and 325g of the caster sugar by bringing them to the boil in a saucepan and boiling for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add the sliced lengthwise or crushed lemongrass and let it infuse for about half an hour.

2. Strain the syrup into a measuring jug, keeping the saucepan with the strained Lemongrass to one side. Take out about 150-200ml of the syrup and put it into a pan with the raspberries. Bring it to a rolling boil and let it thicken slightly, mashing the fruit to make a jam-like consistency. Let it cool a little and then dunk the trifle sponges in the raspberry mixture and arrange them in the bottom of your bowl. Add our Raspberry Vodka 22% and about 100ml of the lemongrass syrup depending on how much your sponges absorb, and reserve the rest.

3. Meanwhile, to make the custard, heat the single cream in the syrup pan with the Lemongrass until it is nearly BUT NOT boiling, take it off the heat and let it infuse for about 15 minutes. Whisk the yolks and the rest of the sugar together and pour the cream (without the Lemongrass) into the same bowl. Then whisk again and put the custard back on the heat in the cleaned-out pan. Stir or whisk until the custard thickens (MUST NOT BOIL) and then pour it over the trifle sponges. Let it cool.

4. Whip the double cream until thick but not stiff, and cover the custard layer. Use about 250ml of the remaining sugar syrup to make a caramel by heating it in a saucepan until it turns a golden-brown. Drizzle the caramelised sugar syrup over the layer of cream to decorate at the last minute, as it can sink into the cream if left.

Anything else I should know?

The caramel topping is optional, you can decorate the top with anything you like (get the children involved here!).
 - Apply to face quickly before anyone else realises how delicious it tastes!

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