Watch us on 'Back to the Land' BBC2 8pm Tuesday 14th March with the lovely Kate Humble, for a master class in the trials of running a rural business!
Think Tipping rain, deer strike on the orchards, building delays, rubbish apple crop and lots and lots of mud...
Rural Idyll? We love Devon!
Look who we found sleeping at Heron Valley - looks like the Devon Wildlife Trusts work on Dormouse protection has been successful in our lovely valley...
All hail the gorgeous endangered British Dormouse - such a privilege to meet one!
It's back to the land... literally, as we plant the next collection of trees in our heritage orchard...
We have a very exposed site with not great depth of Top Soil .. we're starting to get a feel for which apple varieties will thrive in windy high altitude locations
This year we will be planting my favourite 'Ten Commandments' - I only know 1 other tree of this variety growing in Devon at the moment, beautiful tree with wonderful fruit.
Contact us to visit the orchard.
Dartmouth Regatta is here!!!!
We're set up and ready for you Dartmouth - cocktails and glitter Heron Valley style - lovely Cider available too - come and see us in the Royal Avenue Gardens.
x Tash and the Heron Valley A team x
sitting on a wall....
Wow - when did we start making so many bubbly drinks?
Not just a brilliant 80's Spandau ballet song...
Yes! we have won not just 1 but 2 Gold awards for our delicious new Summer Berry Fizz and our Unique and bubbly Wild Nettle Fizz at the Taste of the West awards 2015!!!
In a bid to make life friskier, we suggest mixing your Summer berry with Vodka and your Wild Nettle with Pimms or Sipsmith Summer cup for lazy afternoons in the garden...
50ml Pimms or Sipsmith Summer Cup
200ml Heron Valley Wild Nettle Fizz
Mothers Day is around the corner and to celebrate we thought we’d give you our recipe for the best Mother’s day cocktail we know involving our favourite ‘Mothers Ruin’ Gin and our lovely Pink Lemonade made from juicy strawberries and sharp , zesty Lemons...
Simple and Pink (what’s not to like!).
Perfect for drinking when dancing around your handbags to Abba...
Heron Valley ‘Gin and Pink’
50ml Plymouth or Sipsmith Gin
150ml Heron Valley Pink Lemonade
In a tall glass, plenty of ice, add double shot of good Plymouth gin and top up with Heron Valley pink lemonade – decorate with fresh strawberry...and dance to Abba around your handbags....
Here's a fabulous French Concoction featuring Amaretto, Heron Valley apple juice and Vodka...perfect for Valentine day!
Pomme L'amour (etto)
100ml Heron Valley Sweet apple juice
100ml soda water
Shake all the ingredients (except the soda water) in a Cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain into a high ball or tumbler with plenty of ice, top up with soda water, stir well and add a slice of fresh apple... Voila!
January is a great month to eat Clams - we buy ours off the beach at Slapton - Cider and Seafood are a perfect marriage, and this recipe is simple and delicious..
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 fat cloves of garlic, chopped
3 mild chillies, deseeded and chopped (we get ours from the South Devon Chilli Farm)
8 rashers smoked streaky dry-cure bacon, chopped into ½cm pieces
500ml dry Heron Valley Cider
leaves from a big bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish and fry the onion, garlic, chillies and bacon over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and the bacon is slightly crisp. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling, salted water.
Add the clams to the casserole dish. Stir them into the onion and bacon mixture.
Add the cider, put on the lid and leave to cook for another couple of minutes until all the shells have opened (discard any that remain closed), giving the clams a stir once or twice. Stir in the parsley and season with black pepper. Drain the spaghetti and toss with the clam and cider sauce.
Heron Valley Apple Mojito
This is the hands down, best selling cocktail on the Heron Valley bar - easy to make, with no added sugar (the apple juice gives the cocktail natural sweetness) and completely delicious - you will end up making these constantly once you've got the knack!
50ml Mount Gay rum or good white rum if you prefer
10 fresh mint leaves
juice from 1/2 a lime and a wedge of lime for the glass
150ml naturally sweeter apple juice
Muddle 6 mint leaves in the bottom of a good high ball glass then top up with plenty of ice.
In a Boston cocktail shaker, shake together the rum, apple juice, lime juice, 4 remaining mint leaves and 4 or 5 ice cubes.
Strain the rum, apple juice, lime and mint into the highball glass, add a big slice or wedge of lime and a couple of mint leaves for decoration.
There you go - simple!
Heron Valley Apple Julep
6 mint leaves
200ml naturally sweet apple juice
In a chilled tumbler, muddle the mint leaves, then add plenty of crushed ice. Pour over the bourbon and top up with the naturally sweet apple juice - stir very well and enjoy
Try this lovely refreshing, non alcoholic bubbly cocktail and rejoice! Ideal for those trying to achieve a dry January and help their livers recover from the festive season...
Virgin Hedgerow Stinger
100ml Heron Valley Naturally Sweet apple juice
150ml Heron Valley Wild Nettle Fizz
A thin slice of fresh apple and nettle leaf
In a tall highball glass or tumbler, pour the apple juice over plenty of ice and top up with the Wild nettle fizz. Add thinly sliced apple and a single nettle leaf (drop briefly into boiling water to remove the stinging hairs)...
Delicious and different....
The best Pirate drink ever - honoured by sailors across the globe and drunk with dangerous abandon by sea farers on the Heron Valley bar at the Dartmouth Regatta...
There is no better place to drink a Heron Valley Dark and Stormy than inside the Pilchard Inn on Burgh Island at high tide, with a storm lashing the ancient smuggler pub windows... Ask Vlad to mix you up a Heron Valley special!
Heron Valley 'Dark and Stormy'
50ml Dark or spiced rum
(everyone fights about the best rum - we love Mount Gay, but if I don't mention Goslings, then Reggie will never speak to us again!)
200ml Heron Valley Fiery Ginger beer
1/4 fresh lime
In a highball glass, pour the rum over plenty of ice, top up with our Heron Valley Fiery Ginger beer and squeeze in a big wedge of lime - stir well and drink.
Here are some lovely recipes for those non drinking guests, drivers, pregnant sisters and children over Christmas - we'll be posting a new recipe every day until Christmas, so if you are searching for inspiration, look no further!
Mulled apple juice
Recover from Christmas shopping and curl up in front of a crackly fire with one of these lovely winter warmers..
2 x 75cl bottles Heron Valley Naturally Sweet apple juice
1 x mulling spice sachet (there are 2 in our lovely Mulling Spice box)
In a large pan, gently warm the apple juice and mulling spices together over a low heat (never let the juice boil) until the mulling spices infuse into the juice.
Pour into heat proof glasses and serve.
Simple, heart warming and delicious!
Help us name our delicious new Venetian inspired winter/summer/autumn (frankly anytime of the year) Cocktail..
To enter, post your brilliant Cocktail name in the comments section of the competition post on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/HeronValleyDrinks by Midnight on Sunday 7th December 2014.
The winner will be picked on Monday 8th December and will win a mixed case of all the ingredients you need to make this perfect New Years Eve Cocktail (1 bottle of Campari, 1 bottle of Prosecco, 3 bottles of Ginger beer and 7 bottles of Elderflower)
Using a generous measure of Campari, our Heron Valley Elderflower Fizz, a smidge of our delicious fiery Ginger Beer and topped up with Prosecco, this Cocktail is perfect served in big jugs with plenty of ice and orange slices, and dished out to big groups of friends...
We need a great name to match it's delicious and quietly lethal characteristics... think Venice, sparkliness, pink... tall, refreshing, dangerous.... hmmmmmm
Here's the recipe for a 1 litre jug that will serve 4
200 ml Campari
100ml ginger beer
Put the Campari into the jug with plenty of ice and orange slices, top up first with your elderflower, then the ginger beer and finally with the prosecco. Give a quick stir then serve in individual glasses over ice and with a generous orange slice.
'The Italian Stallion' has already been taken, so get thinking of more good names..!
You too can make delicious cider at home... forget using Sulphites (campden tablets) and adding yeast, make your cider like we do by following these simple rules;
1. Only ever use CIDER apples
This is critical if you want to make cider without lot's of preservatives and added yeasts, as the naturally occurring tannins in proper cider apples act as a natural preservative and anti bacterial agent. The tannins also impart that delicious, dry flavour profile to your cider. Don't try to make cider with just any windfall apples, your efforts will be rewarded if you track down the real Cider McCoy! Visit www.talatonplants.co.uk and speak to Adam (yes really) from Adams Apple, to source the best Cider apple tree varieties...
2. Only press the best quality fruit
Forget the old rural myths about adding rats and other horrors to your cider - if you are making additive free cider it is ESSENTIAL that you press only the best, sound, rot and bruise free apples. If you wouldn't eat it, then don't press it...
Once pressed, leave your cider juice to naturally ferment in a simple plastic or stainless steel vessel with a lid that you can leave loose initially then tighten up once your fermentation is complete or with an airlock. Never use glass jars unless they are designed for fermenting, as they can explode when the carbon dioxide (a bi product of fermentation) builds up in the vessel! You can buy domestic fermenting vessels from www.vigopresses.co.uk
We start pressing our cider apples in October and expect a fully fermented, delicious finished Cider by April - you can keep your pressed cider apple juice in a warm environment to speed up the fermentation process if you need, but we like a natural slow fermentation for our Heron Valley Cider.
If all else fails, you can buy our lovely Cider from this site and have it delivered to your door - simple and much easier than pressing Cider apples in November weather!
For more detailed info on how to make your own cider at home, please feel free to contact me Tasha@heronvalley.co.uk