Sloes in London

Discuss sloe gin recipes - and all those secret family variations! Post your questions and replies here if they are about sloes and gin

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tomhill
Posts: 2
Joined: 27 Oct 2011, 09:43

Re: Sloes in London

Post by tomhill » 30 Oct 2011, 16:27

thanks anniec,

i popped down to hurst road today and easily picked 1kg in 20 mins so a result for a first timer. plenty there so thanks to this post for the tip.
cheers
tom

Moonich
Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Nov 2011, 00:08

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Moonich » 01 Nov 2011, 21:15

Another newbie here.

I also picked a carton worth along Hurst Road at the weekend, cleaned and in the freezer awaiting payday - thanks Fat Badger.

The thing is, I expected to end up covered in scratches as I wasn't particular careful once I got going yet my picking hand is unmarked. But after reading through the forum, I'm now wondering whether I picked something else, the branches on Hurst Road are user friendly, or I just got lucky avoiding the thorns!

Does anyone know if there are also bullace along there? I'm not keen on really sweet drinks so don't want to add too much sugar to start with.

Also, if it turns out that I've got a mixture of sloes and bullace with no eye (or inclination) to sort them out, can you still get a decent drink out of the combination?

Many thanks.

nidgelowe
Posts: 69
Joined: 01 May 2009, 10:14

Re: Sloes in London

Post by nidgelowe » 02 Nov 2011, 09:17

Is it a Bullace or a Sloe? Bullace is half way in size between a Sloe and a Damson. Often mistaken for a Sloe you will know you have a Bullace the moment after the first frost, or your freezer!
Bullace tastes Cherry Plummy after frost, however before the frost they can be pretty indistinguishable from an over sized Sloe,but will not dry out your mouth so much,either way great for making 'sloe gin',just use a little less sugar.Also its my understanding bullace have no thorns.

Moonich
Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Nov 2011, 00:08

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Moonich » 03 Nov 2011, 00:02

Thanks for that.

I expected the thorns to be like rose thorns, not spikes like tooth picks, but I did get some from spikey bushes so at worst I've got a mix. I'm half tempted to pop back at the weekend on the way to get the gin and have another look.

Moonich
Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Nov 2011, 00:08

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Moonich » 08 Nov 2011, 01:39

So I popped back to the scene of the crime and most of the bushes I remember picking off were sloes so another newbie panic is over. For now that is.

So I tasted a few sloes too just to make sure and there's one thing I don't understand. How on earth did someone figure out a palatable use for them beasties?

anniec
Posts: 30
Joined: 03 Aug 2011, 02:17

Re: Sloes in London

Post by anniec » 08 Nov 2011, 23:20

Moonich wrote:
So I tasted a few sloes too just to make sure and there's one thing I don't understand. How on earth did someone figure out a palatable use for them beasties?
I am always amazed by recipes that use otherwise vile ingredients - it is fab to think that someone out blackberrying might have tasted a sloe and thought "Hmm, but that would taste fab after a few months floating in a vat of gin..." :P

nidgelowe
Posts: 69
Joined: 01 May 2009, 10:14

Re: Sloes in London

Post by nidgelowe » 09 Nov 2011, 11:24

the same person that watched a chicken lay an egg and thought i can't wait to put that in my mouth,lol

anniec
Posts: 30
Joined: 03 Aug 2011, 02:17

Re: Sloes in London

Post by anniec » 09 Nov 2011, 17:08

nidgelowe wrote:the same person that watched a chicken lay an egg and thought i can't wait to put that in my mouth,lol
:P

SWLondoner
Posts: 33
Joined: 28 Sep 2011, 19:04

Re: Sloes in London

Post by SWLondoner » 21 Nov 2011, 23:55

Wow - so many people using Hurst Rd! I used to post as Fat Badger but lost my account details.

I picked enough for 5 litres gin this year. Had a taste the other day and all is good! Can't wait for Xmas. Going to make some sloe gin gravy!

Dippybird
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Dec 2011, 09:50

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Dippybird » 03 Dec 2011, 00:11

Hi folks I live in Harrow and have big sloe bushes at the end of my garden if anyone is nearby and wants some . I have three big bags freezing at the mo they are lovely and juicy this year . I had my first go at sloe gin last year and loved it so hoping to make a lot more this year .

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 15 Dec 2011, 10:21

To Moonich. I'm glad it's not just me, the bushes along Hurst Road do appear remarkably thornless and I was seriously worried last year that what I picked might not actually have been sloes but a poisonous mimic. Thankfully they were indeed sloes and the result was awesome. I didn't get an opportunity to pick there this year (I saw them and am so pleased tohear they weren't wasted) but I got some at the Wilderness which proved to be Bullace (damsons a washout this year). I would mention that the Bullace there at least most certainly DO have bayonet like thorns. I have several jars on the go and the result so far is good, I will deffo have a young bottle for Christmas. Also I had a spare half liter of gin at the end of my bottling and chucked a tub of blueberries in it along with some sugar. This is also proving successful.

Moonich
Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Nov 2011, 00:08

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Moonich » 15 Dec 2011, 23:23

I'm jealous Early Bird. I had a taste of mine today - it's still too ginny and can't see there being a miraculous transformation in time for Christmas.

Been told that there's all sorts of freebies growing around Coal House Fort near Tilbury - not exactly London but not that far off if you're over East London way. Sloes/bullace, brambles, rosehip, crab apple and more. Nothing left now but worth a recce next year - what with the S/W London traffic, it won't take me much longer to get there than Hurst Road from SE17.

Early Bird
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 13:41
Location: Molesey, Surrey

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Early Bird » 24 Dec 2011, 15:15

I've been having a nip of mine now and then, just to check progress you know, and it is sweet and wonderful now, although still a bit of sharpness from the gin. This of course is to be expected this young, I shall take it off the fruit and bottle most of it in March and save it for next Christmas. Maybe you could add a bit more sugar to yours Moonich?

I live just off Hurst Road so no excuse for not stopping to pick but I just didn't get the time. Thanks for the Coal House Fort heads up. I have no idea where that is, but will check it out for next year's crop. There have been loads of hawthorn berries around the Wilderness, I'm sure there is something you can do with them but I don't know what.

Moonich
Posts: 25
Joined: 01 Nov 2011, 00:08

Re: Sloes in London

Post by Moonich » 26 Dec 2011, 01:22

I've resigned myself to the long haul on my first batch - have already decided to leave the fruit in another 3 months and then start tweaking the sugar.

I did like Hurst Road for picking, well apart from the muppets who were continually tooting me and another forrager when we were nowhere near stepping into the road. I was looking at Googlemap and wondered if Walton Road on the other side of the reservoir had any bushes?

SWLondoner
Posts: 33
Joined: 28 Sep 2011, 19:04

Re: Sloes in London

Post by SWLondoner » 02 Feb 2012, 14:41

Very delayed reply......

I've looked all round the area, and Hurst Rd is the best place to get lots of sloes from.

There are a few sloe bushes along the river path between Hampton Court and Walton, but Hurst Rd is the best place.

I was walking up Horseden Hill recently and there was an incredible amount of sloe bushes. I will be going there next year.

It's in West London, near Perivale. One of the highest points in London. A good fun walk, good views of London - but more importantly hundreds of sloe bushes. I would defo recommend a visit to any Londoner looking for a nice walk with sloe picking next year!!!

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