Posts Tagged ‘gin’

Sloe going

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The weather in the UK has been remarkably awesome over the last few weeks. England has been basking in glorious sunshine and I have been able to wear skirts and have my legs out a few times. Yesterday delivered once again with sunshine and 17 degrees – perfect weather for my friend Jon and I to go foraging for sloes.

You might remember Jon from previous environmentally-related activities such as worm charming and chicken racing. He’s back, this time encouraging me to dive into bramble/nettled filled hedges along the banks of the Mersey river in order to collect sloes.

For the Australians reading this, a sloe is a mini-plum that looks like a potentially deadly berry. Turns out they don’t kill you, they’re just extremely tart and don’t make good eating. But when left to ferment in a bottle of gin with a heap of added sugar, they make an excellent alcoholic beverage. They also make you tell terrible jokes such as, “Geez, Jon, why are you working so sloely?”

At 5pm, Jon and I headed to Chorlton water park (that’s British for ‘park with lake’) and threw ourselves into the prickly growth along the river. There weren’t that many sloes which meant we really had to dig/get scratched to reach them. I received my first ever nettle sting which was as unpleasant as one would expect it to be.

How sloe can you go?

How sloe can you go?

Once we had collected a sufficient number, we searched for wild horseradish and rose hips but both were either difficult to obtain or underripe. So with our sloes, we headed to Morrisons to find the cheapest gin available.

Back at Jon’s place we began the sloe gin making process which essentially involved putting sugar, sloes and gin in a bottle and then shaking it. The hardest part is the waiting time – I can’t drink it for at least 2 months. So sloe… Stay tuned for more sloe jokes in December.

The beginnings of sloe gin

The beginnings of sloe gin