Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sloe Gin and Garlic!

Yesterday I managed to obtain a big bag full of sloes! A wonderful friend found a plentiful supply at a secret location 'somewhere in England' and went out to pick some for me. I put them in the deep freeze overnight to help bring out the sugar content. Armed with a plentiful supply of cheap, duty free gin I set to work this afternoon making 4 bottles of sloe gin. This will not be ready for tasting until about Christmas, and will be properly ready in about 6 months to a years' time. Well worth the wait! It has a wonderful but more grown up taste of cherry brandy.
Perfect timing down on the patch yesterday, I managed to dampen and break up enough of my dry, hard soil to plant my collection of Isle of Wight garlic. We have had no rain for weeks and the soil is difficult to work at the moment.
Today however, we had the first rain in ages! perfect timing.
I'll keep a close eye on them over Winter and look forward to a harvest next year. Fingers crossed for this time, I do not have a good track record with garlic!

19 Comments:

At 7:42 PM, Blogger Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi there, I love to try to make some too. How much sugar do I put in a 75 cl bottle?

Tyra

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Oh dear that's quite a bit of gin you have there. Christmas could very very very fun! We planted Solent Wight last year, it was great, good luck with it.

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger Liz said...

On my way to work during the Spring I passed a few Blackthorn bushes... I may just have to see if there are any berries on them and get myself some gin... :D

Great post!

 
At 10:39 PM, OpenID nipitinthebud said...

ah so that's what sloes look like - a bit like the damsons I've been bottling and juicing today. I'm not much of a fan of gin but stick some fruit in ... hic.

 
At 11:09 PM, Blogger tina said...

I am betting all that homemade gin will keep you warm this winter. Those are nice looking berries-the biggest I've ever seen.

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Mary Delle said...

Happy harvesting and planting. A good combination.

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

The orange flash on his bike was happy as ever to be of service to one of chums

 
At 12:18 AM, Blogger Dan said...

What a coinkidink, we're drinking tom collins right now! Been a long Monday. Never heard of sloe berries before, sounds interesting.

 
At 1:38 AM, Blogger Emily said...

What are sloes?

Hope your garlic comes out well.

 
At 2:32 AM, Blogger Annie said...

I've learned about sloe gin...and now I know what a "sloe" is...how ignorant am I....apparently pretty ignorant...did not know til tonight that a sloe was the plumlike fruit of a blackthorn.

Happy you've had rain on your garden and wishing you the very best with your garlic...

Last week I made a "marrow pie" and it was EXCELLENT...so happy I found the recipe for it amongst the gardening blogs...better than any lemon meringue pie I've ever had (and lemon meringue has always been my favorite)...

 
At 4:51 AM, Blogger Toni said...

Hi Matron! Greetings from snowy, frosty Wyoming.

I had never heard of sloes. Interesting!

Those garlic cloves look tasty! Hope your plants do well for you!

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger mangocheeks said...

I'm jeaous, i'm jealous, i'm jealous. I want some sloes as well. I have been keeping my beedy eyes out for sloes only to make sloe gin, but nothing so far. Did I tell you I was jealous!

Enjoy :D

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi Matron, we have had downpours all morning also our first rain for weeks.The garlic is in since last week so fingers crossed as our track record is pretty dismal.The sloe gin looks cool, you really are adventurous and will try anything out1

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger Scattered Gardener said...

Hello Matron I'm very jealous as the sloe crop seems to have failed in our local parks. I noticed in August that there were no sloes anywhere. And it was too early for them to have been picked.
Fortunately I've still got about a litre of last year's so I shall just have to be careful with it...just a little nip now and then.

 
At 2:55 AM, Blogger Dirt Princess said...

I am sooo intrigued by these sloes! I have never had one...what do they taste like?

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Quite a few comments asking about sloes. They are related to plums and damsons but about the size of a blueberry. They are much too sour/ bitter/ dry to eat but for some reason when added to gin and sugar for a few months produce this lovely, sophisticated tasting liqueur. Sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn tree which is regularly grown in hedgerows in the UK alongside things like hawthorn and rosehip.

 
At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Soilman said...

this lack of rain has been a big problem, hasn't it? I can't remember a drier year - even the 'drought' of a few years back wasn't so bad.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Green thumb said...

Falsas or Grewia Asiatica, a fruit very similar to Sloes, used to be commonly sold here by roadside vendors, and we as children enjoyed them raw with a healthy sprinkle of salt and black pepper added. Now they seem to have disappeared and my daughter won't even recognize if she saw one.
But I couldn't have dreamt of the exotic use you have put sloes to.

 
At 1:46 PM, OpenID seashellsbymillhill said...

Wow. That will be a nice Christmas present for yourself...I've never heard of this.

I hope your garlic does well also.

 

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