Getting ready for Christmas 2020

Every autumn we gather sloes from the hedgerows.  Every autumn we make sloe gin, and lay it down for the Christmas of the following year.  And every Christmas, we find ourselves sampling some of the hooch we made a mere three months previously.

With so little willpower at our command, what on earth has persuaded us to save a few bitter oranges from our annual marmalade making bonanza to concoct Seville orange gin this January?  This recipe by Maria Dernikos admonishes us to make it, and leave well alone for three whole years.  Good Lord, we might be dead by then.

Ready for action with gin and oranges.

It’s dead easy.  All it needs is gin, the thinly pared zest from a few Seville oranges, a couple of cloves and lots of sugar.  Bottle the lot, put in a cool dark place, and agitate daily till the sugar has dissolved.

After that, I think our only option is to try to forget all about it.  And perhaps we could remember it just one month shy of the three-year requirement, and drink a small glass of it on Christmas Day 2020.

PS.  With the juice from the pared Seville oranges, I made Seville orange curd.  This recipe is a bit sweet for my taste so I added some lemon juice.  Thanks Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall!