I don’t know how many of you are aware of this, but one of Rory McCann’s hobbies is making sloe gin. I feel like I had heard of the drink in passing, years before I saw him mention it in an interview I read, but after I found out he makes it I of course wanted to see what it was all about. These days I don’t know if gin is as popular with most Americans as it might have been a century or two ago, at least not with — say — the middle-middle class and below. We’re more about beer, I think, and maybe whisk(e)y, and definitely “girly” drinks like daquiris and margaritas. And sometimes wine, especially from a box. ANYWAY. So I haven’t had much to do with gin, basically ever.
Anyway, it turns out that a sloe is a type of bush fruit, and it’s native to Europe. I think it’s been grown here in the USA too but it doesn’t seem to be all that popular, and no wonder: the raw fruit is pretty astringent-tasting, from what I understand, and many people don’t like that. But I suppose juniper berries probably don’t taste nice either and then they flavor gin with those, so.
Fresh sloes not being in ready supply on this side of the pond, it occurred to me the other day to check and see if you could buy them dried.
So from there it was a simple matter of wondering whether one could manufacture sloe gin in one’s kitchen utilizing the dried sloes instead of fresh ones.
I have no idea how Rory would feel about someone attempting to make the drink in this fashion. Some people are purists about this sort of thing. But it’s not like you can really buy the stuff pre-bottled. Sometimes you just have to make do.
Anyway, if I ever try this it’ll be with a sugar substitute, which ought to really horrify him properly.
And finally, I know nothing about gin but supposedly this is a good one. Google is your friend if you need to find a different brand. Talking with the proprietor of a decent-quality liquor store will also be helpful if you are more sociable than I am, but it’s still nice to have different opinions to cross-reference and look for common elements, brand names mentioned multiple times. It beats buying cheap shit that tastes nasty. Still buy a smaller bottle over a larger one if you can at all help it because you might not even like the good stuff — but keep in mind you’ll be sweetening it anyway and the sloes will add their own flavor, so that may not matter.
Look at me offering advice on something I haven’t even tried yet. The pathetic bit is if I’d stayed in No Longer House Male’s house, I’d have probably run to the store already. One of these days I’ll attempt it. In fact that’s one reason I wrote this post, so I can come back to it for reference later.