Last Saturday morning Stuart and I went sloe picking in a secret location near Mile End in London's glitzy Tower Hamlets.
When I say 'secret' I really mean it's just an overgrown cemetery park in Tower Hamlets - but we fruity, foraging-types like to keep our exact locations to ourselves; as there is stiff competition amongst us for the prize locations of the best ingredients for our fruit-based stiff drinks.
We used to go foraging for sloes in Highbury but Islington Council - in their infinite wisdom - decided to cut down all the Highbury Fields hawthorns; so we had to look further afield to make our annual batch of Highbury Sloe Gin.
First we carefully pick the sloes, try to get them home unsquashed, wash the yeast off, select the best, and then freeze them. We then pop them in a few bottles of gin to infuse for three months and then decant and sweeten to taste. Yummy.