Cloudberries (Rubus Chamaemorius) are members of the rose family which, along with their close relatives nagoonberry, raspberry, blackberry, and thimbleberry, produce delicious fruit. The cloudberry is one of the smallest of this group whose single erect stem seldom exceeds three inches in height. The leaves are roundish and indented to form five lobes, with veins that stand out from the lower surface. Each plant has a single flower with five white petals growing on the tip of the stem. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. The fruit is red when unripe, turning soft and yellowish-orange to reddish-orange at maturity.
Cloudberries grow in a variety of moist tundra and bog habitats that circle the Artic, often growing profusely among sphagnum moss, cranberries and other Artic-hardy plants. They range from the northern Russian Republic, Scandinavia, most of Alaska, across northern Canada, and south into British Columbia.
Pick only ripe berries. Wash, destem and crush berries in a primary. Add sugar to 10 cups of water and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in crushed Campden tablet, cover and leave for 12 hours. Add pectic enzyme, stir, recover, and leave another 12 hours. Add the remaining ingredients and activated yeast. Ferment 4 days stirring twice daily. Strain through a nylon straining bag, squeezing gently, and transfer to a 1-gallon secondary. Fit airlock and top up with water when the initial fermentation slows down. Ferment to dryness (about 1 month at 75º F), rack into another jar, top up, and reattach airlock. Rack every 3 months thereafter for one year. Stabilize, sweeten if desired, and rack into bottles. This makes a magnificent, strong, full bodied wine that is best if sweetened to specific gravity 1.025-1.030. [Adapted recipe, courtesy of Bob McGrath, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland]