Monday, 6 January 2014

Sloe gin - Lucy's ruin

So it is Twelfth Night. The Christmas tree is listing, the mistletoe has furled and today, so tradition dictates, the decorations must come down. The children are back to school tomorrow and it is all over for another year, with just the prospect of a bleak, rainy January ahead. Cry.
I love Christmas, but this year it took me by surprise a bit. I didn't get around to writing one card (Sorry. I love you all. Next year…), didn't manage one Christmas night out with friends and was generally a bit too busy, with a few too many house guests, to sit back and enjoy either the run-up or the actual event.
On the actual day, come the evening and after serving slightly undercooked turkey to 12, I wanted a fast track to relaxation. It was an itch that wine couldn't scratch, so this is where my new best friend came in. Sloe gin - or supermarket morphine, as I prefer to call it - saved my Christmas. I saw it on the shelf at Waitrose on Christmas Eve and on impulse shoved it in the trolley. It is distilled by Sipsmith, who are just down the road from me, and as I met the owner once at a party, I thought it would be rude not to buy it. (Any excuse.) 
It was £15 and 29% alcohol. Bargain! It was also delicious. Served chilled in shots, it was a perfect pep me up. I did try it in champagne, but found I pretty quickly lost all control of all limbs and bodily functions. Now I understand why gin is referred to as Mother's Ruin. If you haven't seen Hogarth's Gin Lane etching (pictured here), take note.
Apparently, sloe gin is easy to make. So if you have a good recipe (or intriguing ways to drink it) please let me know. Next Christmas I plan to be much more organised, if not with cards and catching up with friends, then by setting up a micro gin distillery in my spare room by mid-October. 

9 comments:

  1. I love sloe gin too. My mother had some in her house, where we were for Christmas week, so I poured a shot or two when the going called for it...!

    A friend of mine who owns a pub makes her own but I have no recipe, and I'm not even sure sloes can be found this far south. I wouldn't know a sloe tree if it smacked me in the face though, so I could be wrong...

    The only liquor I've ever made was peach, from the young leaves of a peach tree. I had to sneak into a farmer's field to nick them though, something I would not do any more... It was divine stuff.

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  2. A kindred spirit (sorry!). It is the perfect apertif/digestif/replacement for a cup of tea. Claire makes a mean blackberry brandy, but your peach liquor sounds amazing too. This year, I am going on a sloe berry hunt.

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  3. Look! I made sloe gin with my neighbour Maggie this year - her recipe is fab, and very very simple...

    http://knackeredmotherswineclub.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/sloe-down.html

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    1. What a great way to recombobulate. What a drink. What a word! x

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  4. To my amazement I haven't blogged sloe gin, but it is very easy and very delicious. Take note though - the first time I made it (pre-marriage, defintiely pre-kids). I used way too much sugar and it turned out like alcoholic tyxilix (that cough mixture) - now, if you love cough mixture as much as I do (or certainly did as a child) you'll realise that this is a very VERY dangerous state of affairs. I believe I lost 38 hours.

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    1. LOL is such an overused acronym. But your 38 hour comment really did make me LOL. Those were the days huh?

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  5. I love sloe gin too but sadly made mine too late for it to be ready for Christmas or even New Year. Ours is still sat in the cupboard and will be ready next month - hurrah! Here's my recipe: https://bangermashchat.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/sloe-gin-because-good-things-come-to-those-who-wait/

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  6. What a way to brighten up January though. Your recipe looks great. Thanks!

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  7. Huge sloe gin enthusiast here. And damson gin. And raspberry gin. In fact, pretty keen on gin in any form! Make some most years - we are currently without as last year's batch isn't ready yet. A rather sorry state of affairs. I love that it tastes different from one year to the next despite always following the same recipe.

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