Farm to ForkRich Follett
Being positioned on the edge of the family farm in the heart of West Sussex and subsequently the Southdowns gives us the opportunity to provide our customers with the best and locally sourced products available! whether its venison from the fields, pheasant and partridge from the woods or sloes and elderberries from the hedge roe. This is where you will find out what we’ve been up to on the farm to bring to glass or plate.
Its that time of year when things start to cool off, and (so I’ve been told) once the first frost has arrived, one must venture in to the hedge row to forage the best ripe sloes before the birds have them. With this 3 days after the first frost of the year I finished lunch service, donned my jacket and cap to head off, plastic tub in hand to scout for sloes on the Farm with Mum!
- Sloes on the Farm
It didn’t take long to spy a few sloes in the hedgerow, however, with the cows sniffing curiously at my back and mum carrying bumble (the family Cocker Spaniel) so she wasn’t trodden on, it took slightly longer than anticipated to pick the small fruits. Eventually we both had a reasonable tub full and headed back to the house to wash the sloes.
Once washed we dried them on a kitchen towel and placed them in the freezer for 48 hours. This apparently ruptures the sloes evenly throughout the fruit allowing the juice to infuse with the gin better. On the evening of Wednesday the 21st I took the frozen Sloes and filled 2 x 1 litre kilner jars 40% full with sloes (roughly 350g of sloes in each jar) and a bottle of 70cl ‘Sloanes Premium Dry Gin’ in each jar. No Sugar has been added as of yet, as we will add this 3 months down the line to taste, the theory behind this is that the gin will take on more of the sloe flavour before it becomes saturated with sugar.
I also made two other litre kilner jars with the same amount of sloes but used a ‘Gordons Special dry’ in one and a ‘Tanqueray Export’ in another. The Sloes and gin will be kept out of sunlight for the 3 months so they can take on that deep purple/red colour the kilner jars get swirled every day so keep checking in to see how we progress!
All the Best,