Tom found a blackthorn bush on his run yesterday, laden with sloes ripe for the picking. So we returned today, eager to fill a box. I’ve heard mention of sloe gin before, but it wasn’t until Tom was given a bottle for Christmas last year that I realised what all the fuss was about. A sweet, red liqueur with a warm burn just perfect to be sipped by the fire in December. Sloes are a beautiful berry, far more satisfying to pick than blackberries as they don’t crumble in your hands, and there seems an abundance of them on each bush.
Beyond the grunting of pigs in the field behind, the countryside was quiet. It seems noone really uses this path, so we were free to pick in piece. On such a grey day, this, our first sloe-picking expedition, was the perfect excuse for some outdoor time before the rain set in. Now we just need to turn this box of beautiful dusty purple fruit in to some winter liqueur worthy of its fine reputation.