It's been more than a year since lovely neighbour Gay brought around several large bags and baskets of pears from her small-but-very-productive orchard which lies beyond the boundary wall at the far reaches of our estate.
It's been more than a year since I sliced those pears up, poured boiling water over them, added a small mountain of sugar and allowed the whole lot to cool to touch temperature. There were a couple of other things to throw into the mix at that point, and then much fizzing and bubbling occurred.
And then the pear mash was discarded into the compost heap and the liquid was decanted into demijohns. And today, after more than a year (have I mentioned how long ago I did all this, at all?), those demijohns, along with some containing spicy apple stuff, re-emerged from their long storage in the shower tray of what was once Dozybean's en-suite.
It's bottling time. To be fair it was bottling time a long time ago. I'm just a very very good procrastinator.
And so, this morning, I finally got around to sterilising what felt like a thousand old wine bottles.
And without further ado, I gave a good suck to the end of the syphon to begin the flow of amber(ish) nectar into its next resting place, from whence it shall flow merrily at some time into a wine glass and thence into someone's grateful/terrified (delete as appropriate) gullet.
One demijohn's worth of pear wine didn't make it past quality control - sour as buggery, but the rest didn't make me wince.
In fact, if I say myself, the pear wine tasted mightily good and the two gallons of spicy apple wine (from Shazzerooneypoos' apples) also gave the old taste buds a bit of a zing.
There are now 22 bottles of Millbrooker Hooch (2011 vintage) lying on racks awaiting the attentions of an unsuspecting guest/victim (delete as appropriate). I haven't fortified this batch so it shouldn't be quite as lethal as the last lot, but caution is still advised.
Another three gallons of plain apple wine to bottle tomorrow. So that'll make 37 bottles in all to enjoy/splutter-through (delete as appropriate).
Huzzah for hooch!