I’m a bit sloe!

It’s been a bit grey recently so I thought I’d put in a nice sunny Autumnal picture.  These are sloes growing on one of the four large blackthorns about 200m away from the house.   For reasons that are too tedious to explain I found myself having a conversation with Granny Goo the other day about Bombay Sapphire Gin.  I didn’t realise that it was only the bottle that was blue and was disappointed when she told me the actual gin was as boring as any other gin  – I don’t get out much and yes, I am a bit slow at times!  But of course all this got me thinking about Christmas and sloe gin, which I discovered to my delight the first time I tried it was definitely more interesting than your average gin and in fact nothing like gin. 

I hate to admit it but I don’t harvest the sloes, I always feel slightly bemused by some wild gathering antics because far from getting something for free it quite often demands you go out and buy something you wouldn’t have otherwise bothered with in order to make it palatable!  In this case a bottle of gin,  which is not a regular feature on my shopping lists.  Fortunately our good friend Alan who walks past here everyday does collect them and unlike me not too much of a Scrooge to put a few extras on his shopping list.  He makes lovely sloe gin, I asked him for his recipe so that I could reprint it here.  He thought that recipe was too grand a word for it, but anyway here goes – now as this is not from the horse’s mouth no awkward questions – I won’t be able to answer them!

You need for your sloe gin a secure, seal-able glass container. The bottle the gin came in will do,  obviously you’ll have to drink some of the gin first!

•1lb of sloes
•75cl of gin (any old cheap gin apparently)
•4oz of white caster sugar

Wash and pick over your sloes, discarding any grotty ones, then prick them with a fork or a blackthorn if you want to be really traditional.  Put the sloes, gin and sugar in your bottle or jar, and stash it somewhere dark and cool. Every day or so for the first month, give it a gentle shake and turn it, then every so often thereafter. After three months drain or decant.  Some sloe gin connoiseurs seem to think you should then wait a year for the full flavours to develop.  Here at SLP the verdict seems to be drink it straight away.  We have no backbone!

Should you be feeling a little worse for wear after Christmas excess I’m going to be featuring lots of lovely organic, natural skin care products over the next few weeks to help us all get back into shape so we can all look beautiful when we pull our gardening boots back on!  Cheers!

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