I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’ve probably stocked up on either toilet roll or gin (or both) for the 2020 lockdown. In fact, flavoured gins saw a sales increase of 125% year on year in the week before lockdown was officially enforced in the UK. For me, two of the good things to come out of spending so much time at home are not needing to drive and getting the chance to expand my repertoire of gin.
Nothing about Life on the Hedge Sloe Gin feels like slow-motion, let me tell you. It barely touches the sides as it goes down as it is just too delicious and easy to drink.
Hedgerow Gin have made a fantastic brand, Sloemotion, which is grown and made in the Yorkshire countryside. Never has it been a better time to support a British brand and, if like me, you enjoy your gin, you will love this.
Unlike some flavoured gins, the balance of fruit and sweetness is just right and compared to some other brands of sloe gin, it is now the only one I’ll drink. It has subtle flavours of crab apple, nettle, rosehip, elderflower and sloes (the bitter fruit of the blackthorn bush). The sloes are then steeped in small batches until the taste is perfect – the end result is this award-winning gin with 26% volume.
Sloemotion also produce a range of liqueurs, chocolates and preserves using hedgerow fruit and I can vouch for the Sloe Chutney as being one of the best – especially with a Ploughmans.
The story behind Sloemotion deserves recognition alone, as it began almost by accident when Jonathan Curtoys (a trained ecologist) decided to introduce conservation methods on his farm, aimed at encouraging wildlife and this also meant cutting hedgerows less often.
As a result, a vast amount of sloes were grown so the family decided to use them to make homemade gin which grew into a business.
With Jonathan’s background in ecology, he and his wife maintained the respect for wildlife and the countryside, always putting this at the heart of every business decision.
I drink Sloemotion gin straight from the fridge with Fever Tree Slimeline Indian Tonic Water and ice, though in the winter it would have a warming feel to it like mulled wine. Something to look forward to once the weather changes!
It has inspired me to grow my own sloes although I don’t think I’ll be able to match the quality of Hedgerow. Either way, it means I am doing my bit for the environment and can sit and watch the sloes grow whilst sipping. Fortunately, it may take a long time.