Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sloe Berry Picking in Wales

I just spent the weekend in North Wales. It was a stunningly beautiful Autumn weekend with leaves turning red seemingly overnight.

On the train from London we chatted with the friendly Virgin train conductor. He said he had four days off work after Friday and was excited about embarking on his annual sloe gin making ceremony. His wife, he explained, likes to add almond essence but he doesn't like the oily film it leaves on top of the drink. He prefers using vanilla pods.

He was so passionate about his sloe gin that after tasting the delicious house sloe gin in Wales, I decided it was about time I made my own. The next day, dragging myself away from the wonderful cooking and log fires, I stepped out into the crisp air and ventured off sloe berry picking.

Soon I'd gathered a few pints, enough for a few litres of sloe gin. Apparently it takes about 3 months to make but gets better with age beyond that. Bring on 2012.

I'm moving house at the moment but as soon as I'm resettled the berries will be out of the freeze and into a jar of gin. If anyone has a trusted recipe please share! I'll be back to let you know how I get on...

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