Sloe gin is probably my favourite drink ever after Mead (which I’m learning to make as part of this course). I’m just getting around to processing the sloes I picked before Christmas. Thankfully I found a new sloe spot as my previous one involved balancing precariously on an embankment (uphill), managing to pick a few before falling back down the hill again. I’d always get caught in amongst the thorns too. I seriously rock the ‘dragged through a hedge backwards’ look. There is no such thing as fashionable foraging!
I picked about 300g of sloes and put in the freezer. This emulates the first frost. Let them defrost a bit, smooshed them a bit with a potato masher then stuck in 70cl of Gin. Following the advice of The Botanist Gin, I went for the second cheapest gin and added no sugar but a bit of vanilla essence. Gonna give it a shake every day for the next two weeks then leave to work its magic for three months or so.
I decided to try a rosehip vodka too. Added 200g of defrosted rosehips in to 70cl of semi-cheap vodka. Going to let those babies soak a couple of months then test to see if sugar/honey is required. I was going to experiment with a sea buckthorn whisky but as I’m running low on the buckthorn berries I’ve decided to leave that one for another year. I was lucky enough to try this Wild Whisky Sour made by Mark at Galloway Wild Foods (made with sea buckthorn and birch syrup) and would LOVE to make it.
Botanical booze truly is the way ahead. This year I plan on learning more about using alcohol with wild food. Stay tuned!