Our Hedgerow Gin started life nearly a year ago on a roadside in West Waterford.
In late November 2015 we gathered plump sloes from the Hedgerows in the Blackwater Valley and stuck them in the freezer. Why? Well early in 2016 we added those frozen sloes to a fresh batch of gin. Freezing helps rupture the skin of the fruit so it will give out more of its juice.
Apart from the odd stir, we left the sloes alone until late early summer when we drained dark, tawny liquid off the fruit.
By autumn 2016 we were ready for phase 2. It hadn’t been a great summer and local damsons were hard to come by. But we did get some, and a tasty cluster of bullaces, these we bulked out with some bought-in damsons and the whole lot took a bath in a second batch of warm gin.
In early October as the leaves started to turn, we again took to the Hedgerows. Here we harvested all the crab apples and blackberries we needed; these were frozen and added to the damson purple spirit.
By November we were good to go.
The sloe gin and the damson, crab apple and blackberry gin were blended. The sloes brought with them a depth of colour and flavour, while the other lighter fruits gave us something brighter and sweeter. The new Hedgerow Gin was left rest for a couple of weeks, then we strained, gently sweetened and finally bottled the fruits of our labour. In all we recovered only 500 litres of precious liquid.
So only 1,000 bottles of the 2016 vintage Hedgerow Gin will ever exist. So as the nights draw in, light a fire, put your feet up and sip the night away. Or try our Hedgerow Gin hot with a slice of lemon.
And if you pass us on the road, up a ladder, give us a wave. The 2017 Hedgerow Gin harvest will soon be underway.