Dec 29, 2017
It's the mid point between Christmas and New Year…we might
benefit from a break from the excesses. We can't go cold-turkey
from the excesses of non-stop food and drink so a gin and tonic or
a bit of sloe gin is a welcome comfort. The Sloe, or wild Plum, is
the fruit of the Blackthorn found in the hedgerows. By autumn these
small fruits are oval, blue-black and their sourness makes them
perfect to cover with sugar and gin which by Christmas has formed
into a perfectly luxurious holiday tipple, sloe gin.
Barker, The Sloe Fairy, Flower Fairy series c. 1927
- The Sloe, or wild Plum, is the fruit of the Blackthorn found in
the hedgerows. By autumn these small fruits are oval, blue-black
and their sourness makes them perfect to cover with sugar and gin
which by Christmas will have formed into a perfectly luxurious
holiday tipple, sloe gin.
- Gin was invented in Holland around 1650 and it made it’s way to
England not long after. Distilled from grain, it gets its name from
the crushed juniper berries it passes through which are called
genever in Dutch.
- Juniper berries have long been used medicinally with their
cordials being renowned for their astringent, restorative and
- They were even thrown on the floors of medieval homes so that
when guests walked upon them the cracked juniper berries would emit
their fragrant spice...a sort of applied pot pouri.
- Less than a hundred years from when it was invented, England
found itself in the midst of an all-out gin craze.
- Gin was the first spirit produced in the industrial age and gin
was incredibly inexpensive due to the fact that the government did
not tax grain OR distillation.
- Sloe gin was known as the poor mans port' and adding sloes
helped to cover the many unfortunate ingredients being added to it
to make it even cheaper.
- The Gin acts changed legislation to try to curb the ‘gin
Charles Dickens loved gin and punches and there are many legends
connecting his literary works and social habits and
A few years back I decided to bundle all my interests together
and rebrand from Smy Chutney to Smy Goodness so that all my
preserves, crafts, products and workshops could live together in
one place. My own podcast seemed a suitable place to uncover,
understand and enjoy things related to food, art, history and
design. Please do share your stories, knowledge, questions and
suggestions. In the Smy Goodness.com podcast section you will find
the podcasts and all the items that we are discussing and will have
ongoing discussions about each week.
You can also follow Smy Goodness on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
and Tumblr. I'd like to thank Ashley Palmer for use of his Roland
R-09 and Matteo Borea for creating the music. Thank you for