So it's been a wonderful summer and the hedgerows are bursting with bumper crops this year ... 'one for me, one for Ralphy, one for me ...' I'm determined to make the most of mother natures bounty this year. So today I want to give you a heads up on the SLOE berry. It's not picking time yet but it will be soon so here's a guide to picking at the right time.
A perfect winter tipple.
Aside from being the perfect winter liquor to warm the cockles while waiting for Santa, SLOE GIN / VODKA is fun to make and makes a lovely Christmas gift. So do start keeping an eye out for them in your area ... then you can go straight to them before ole Mrs Miggins from 93 gets there first ... cos she will!
When is the Sloe berry ripe?
Sloe Gin takes three months to 'stew' but do hold off from picking until at least late sept / early oct. Sloes are traditionally picked after the first frost of winter as this softens the berry which makes it more flavoursome so wait for Jack Frost if you can. When you head out to gather give their dusty skins a wipe. If it's still black/greenish underneath it's not ready and will be far too bitter. If the berry is completely purple it is ripe and ready to pick. Click below for my Sloe Gin Recipe, and go forth and forage!