13 September 2014

Sloe gin in the making

Sloe gin - I have to thank this blog for pointing out to me that it exists. It was due to a comment posted after I'd published a purely decorative picture of a berry-carrying bush I had no idea of what it was that I find out there is such a thing as sloe berries. For that was what they were.

My next encounter with the stuff was when Neil had made some, and I got to try it. It was nice! I like home-made stuff, and this was nice indeed. I thought one day I should make my own.

Later I got to try professionally produces sloe gin, at probably the best place to try it: the Plymouth Gin Distillery. Plymouth gin is really good stuff, and it still is when you chuck berries in them. As I could try out at Pete's birthday one year.

And then I moved to Wales. And found myself a running route. Some of that was rather overgrown. And then, after the cruise, I suddenly noticed that some of the shrubs almost choking the path I would run on, were blackthorns - the bush sloe berries grow on! This was my chance. I googled how you do it, asked a colleague who seemed to be in the know if early September was too early to pick them, heard it probably isn't, bought gin and a sealable glass jar, and one sunny afternoon went back to my path. And saw it had been cleared! You now didn't have to duck to avoid the mean blackthorns anymore. And it had been done recently (it had to - it must have been after my last run there) so there was a plethora of cut-off branches lying around. Well, let's use these then! These berries won't get any better. And my limited body height doesn't matter with branches that lie on the floor. And after a while I had my biggest tupperware full. Enough!

I had found out from both internet as knowledgeable colleagues it helps to freeze the berries before you make the gin, so I rinsed them and shoved them in the freezer compartment. I know it doesn't freeze very well, but one has to make do with what one has. And a few days later I prepared the first jar. I have enough berries for litres of sloe gin, but I ran out of gin! But the process has started. The next jar will follow soon. Now I have to turn the jar(s) every day for two weeks, and then once a week for some months more. And then I can go and try! I hope it will turn out well!

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