Back in October I started making a gallon of sloe gin. It was drained, strained filtered and bottled and left to mature a little more. I do intend to share my tasting experiences in the near future as well as a side-by-side comparison against Sipsmith sloe gin, but first I have to share a little moment of crazed diversification I had this week.
I found these rather charming little bottles on a homebrew site (Dorset Homebrew to be precise). I love flanged corks in spirit bottles; that distinctive squeak, followed by a pop epitomises absolutely everything about opening a quality bottle of spirit. This likely comes from my days of drinking whiskey and is one of the simple aural pleasures in life.
Anyway, the short of it was that I wanted some. I knew immediately what I could do with them; I read a smashing-sounding sloe gin recipe over on Gin & Crumpets (you can find it here) that used, amongst other things, star anise and black pepper. They are both fantastic flavours and I really wanted to experiment with both. I decanted my sloe gin into a couple of empty Hendrick’s bottles, although I still had one and a half litres left over. These little bottles have allowed me to decant this into 250ml portions and add individual ingredients to further develop the flavours.
So now I have six 250 ml bottles of sloe gin, each flavoured with one of the following…
- Star anise
- Black pepper
I also have a plain one, if you were wondering where the sixth bottle went.
I am rather looking forward to trying all of these. There are some interesting choices of flavour and I have little doubt that there will be one or two that just don’t work, but I am equally sure that there will be a few spectacular ones, all of which will inform the next batch of sloe gin come autumn.