Damson Plum Gin

Sep 23, 2020 | Recipes

How to make Grandma's Garden Damson Plum Gin

Well whatever else 2020 has to offer, it brought us a bumper crop of soft fruit this summer. I had so many damson plums on my tree this year I had to prop up a couple of the branches to prevent them from breaking. As there are only so many you can physically eat and so many crumbles you can cook, what to do with them all? What else but make some damson plum gin and some a bit of jam of course!

My poor little tree managed to produce over 5 Kg, or 10 lbs, of fruit, not bad for it’s 4th year. So instead of making just “plain” damson plum gin, I decided to make a couple of variations too.  I claimed some small oranges from the fruit bowl and a quick raid on the kitchen cupboard produced some cinnamon sticks, cloves, coconut flakes and a vanilla pod.

As a little experiment, I decided to use 2 different types of gin to see if there was much difference in the taste. I used some nice cheap gin for 2 and Topaz Blue for the others.

Each recipe will make approximately 1 litre of gin, or so I’m reliably informed.

Damson Plum Gin

Main Recipe:

For the base recipe I used the ingredients listed and followed the method below.


  • 1 Kg Plums
  • 250g White Sugar
  • 70cl Spirit (reasonable quality Gin, 37.5% ABV min) – I used the cheap Gin for this one. If you don’t like Gin then Vodka would make a good alternative.


  • Place the plums on a board and stab with a fork.
  • It’s up to you if you leave the stones in or take them out. I understand the stone give off an almond aroma so I left mine in.
  • In a 2 Kg sterilised Kilner Jar, add the plums and sugar
  • Pour over the spirit. Seal the jar and shake well
  • Over the next 2-3 days, shake periodically until the sugar has dissolved, then store the jar in a dark cupboard for 3 months

This is the stage I’m currently at and at the time of writing this post, 23rd September 2020, I have another 5 weeks to wait until the next bit.

  • Strain the mixture through a muslin and check the sweetness – bottle up and add extra sugar if required. DON’T DISCARD THE PLUMS!
  • Store for another month or more before drinking

Alternative Recipes:

Variation 1: Damson Plum & Orange

  • 750g Plums
  • 250g White Sugar
  • 4 small oranges or satsumas
  • 70cl Spirit – I used the cheap Gin for this one.

Variation 2: Damson Plum, Coconut and Vanilla

  • 1 Kg Plums
  • 250g White Sugar
  • 10g Coconut flakes
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 70cl Spirit – I used the Topaz Blue Gin for this one.

Variation 3: Damson Plum Christmas Mix

  • 1 Kg Plums
  • 250g White Sugar
  • 2 small oranges or satsumas
  • 1 teaspoon of Cloves
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • (If I had any Star of Anais I would probably have added 1 or 2 of these too)
  • 70cl Spirit (reasonable quality Gin, 37.5% ABV min) – I used the cheap Gin for this one.

I suspect this one might be a little like mulled wine but with more oomph 😀

So there you have it, potentially 4 litres of damson plum gin with a few additional twists.

4 kilner jars of plum gin with variations


I made them at the end of July so will be straining them all at the end of October / beginning of November. A few weeks later they should be ready for sampling.

Roll on Christmas!!

PS I’ll keep you posted on the outcome of each variation. And I’ll let you know what I do with the fruit after I’ve strained it 😉