A Taste of Summer
Many of you have probably had a Gin Sling. Some of you have probably had one from the horses mouth (so to speak) from Raffles, where it's called a Singapore Sling.
The recipe is Gin (2 measures), Cherry Brandy (1), Lemon Juice (1/2), Angostura Bitters (1 drop), and Soda Water to top up a tall glass filled with ice with a slice of lemon.
This is all well and good but not perfect.
This w/e was warm enough to sit outside in the garden and contemplate doing little else but enjoy the warmth and to desist from any pottering about. It was time to bring out the Sloe Gin made last Autumn and saved specifically for the first taste of summer.
Sloes are the fruit of the Blackthorn Tree. They blossom very early in spring, blossoming first in the woodlands even before they come into leaf. These fruit are extremely bitter and astringent - having the effect of drying your mouth out.
Making Sloe Gin is very easy. Collect 500gr of Sloes - some people wait until after the first frost, but I don't think this is necessary (You can prick the sloes with a cocktail stick if you want)- and place in a (sterilised) preserving jar with 500gr sugar and a litre of Gin. Seal the jar and wait about 6 weeks. Shaking from time to time. Strain the resultant ruby red liquid into clean bottles. Taste some at New Year beside a roaring fire and save the rest for summer.
The Perfect Singapore Gin Sling can then be made as follows:
Gin (2 measures)
Sloe Gin (1 measure)
Pink Grapefruit Juice (1/2 a measure) and
Tonic Water to top up a tall glass filled with ice and a slice of citrus.
This is the ideal accompaniment to a warm summer's day.