food and drink

Dorset Moonshine

The title is deceptive. I own no distillery. But Mrs P and I have been foraging through hedgerows in order to create our own flavoured gin. It’s the season for sloes. I want to say sloe berries, but it appears that you just call them sloes. Whatever you prefer to call them, this is a bumper year for the little purplish berries and we quickly had a bag half filled with them.

The ‘recipe’ is simple. Freeze the sloes overnight to mimic the first frost (which has not yet come) and break the skins. Pop 750 grams of them in a sterilised jar. Add 350 grams of caster sugar and then pour in a litre of decent gin. Gently mix, seal and put somewhere out of direct sunlight. Turn the jar every other day for two to three months.

Pour the liquid through a filter back into the bottle and give it a week or two for the flavours to mellow. We plan to have our bottle ready for Christmas. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ve read that it’s even better if you leave it bottles for a year or two. We might, perhaps, return to the hedgerow to pick more sloes and put that advice to the test.

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