Liberty Fields specialises in turning the apples they grow into a truly unique range of food and drink! Based in West Dorset, they began in 2010 by planting 10 acres of orchards with 1600 apple trees, selecting a mixture of heritage, local and modern cider apple varieties as the primary ingredient for their products.
The apples were planted firstly to create the only British Apple Balsamic Vinegar made in the traditional Italian style (a long slow period of maturation in oak barrels), which was the first product launched – once it had been aged for over 6 years! It’s a rich, intense balsamic, and can be used in any way that you’d normally serve a good balsamic. It’s particularly good served with oven roast vegetables, or with a soft goats cheese and pear, or just with some simple tomatoes and avocadoes.
Having established a niche as a producer of premium artisan food, made by hand in small batches, the next product to be launched was Dessert Cider (7%). This is a delicious alternative to a port or liqueur, as it brilliantly complements a plate of cheese or your favourite pudding and at 7%, it’s a much lighter drink. It also can be mixed to create cocktails or a winter punch – fancy an Apple Bellini or a Dorset Pommes? No sulphites or chemicals are used so it’s naturally cloudy.
Liberty Fields wanted to showcase the variety of tastes in the heritage apples in the orchards, and they came up with Porter’s Perfection Vodka (40%). This is created by using the juice of the Porter’s Perfection apple (a heritage variety first identified in 1907 in East Lambrook), combining it with British wheat grain spirit, then distilling to create an amazingly smooth and soft vodka. It has a subtle, delicate apple flavour, perfect for serving over ice or with a good tonic with a garnish of very thinly sliced root ginger or apple. Deliciously refreshing and deservedly popular among local bars and restaurants, including The Stables Pizza and Cider chain.
The latest product is Apple Syrup, which is Dorset’s answer to maple syrup, but made only from the juice of carefully selected apples from the orchards. There is NO added sugar and it takes about two kilos of apples to make one bottle! People love a teaspoon on their porridge, drizzling it over icecream, serving it with pancakes or waffles, pouring it over yoghourt, or using it to cook with in baking or with anything porky. Launched in catering packs (as well as retail bottles) it’s now being used by chefs across the West Country as well as in some select establishments in London, including The Farmers Club on Whitehall.
In addition to their own premium products, Liberty Fields is proud to work in association with a number of local businesses using their stills, Juno and Olivia, to produce hand-crafted, small batch gin to their own recipes or in creating unique recipes specifically for them.
Liberty Fields products are available in good independent farmshops, delis and wineshops across the West Country and can increasingly be found further afield. For instance, if you’re travelling on the M5 and M6, and visiting Gloucester or Tebay Services, look out for Dessert Cider and Apple Syrup. Check out their website for up to date details of stockists. They’re also often to be found at local food and Christmas Fairs, as well as at the brand-new monthly Sherborne Community Market (to be held every third Sunday of the month from April to September inclusive). They hold regular open days and community events including the very popular Wassail in mid January, and are open to private tours of local groups.
Please contact [email protected] for more information. You’ll find information about Liberty Fields on their social media - @libertyfields (Twitter) and @libertyfieldsdorset (Facebook and Instagram.