Around this time of year there are only two drinks that are in my mind. A hot chocolate or three and homemade sloe gin. There’s almost nothing better when its cold that a nice hot chocolate to warm you up. Shockingly despite my Englishness I’m not really a tea drinker. I know its mildly upsetting that I am failing in my Britishness. I like peppermint and a builders tea about twice a year. I dislike coffee so its all about the hot chocolate!
I now tend to make my own with cocoa powder,a dash of sugar or honey, milk and water. Occasionally I add a bit of almond milk as its creamier. If I want to be really indulgent then Honestly Healthy’s coconut milk hot chocolate is the best thing ever!!! Coconut milk, cocoa powder, something sweet, heat up, Boom- chocolate coma!
The only other Christmas drink that will do is sloe gin! Now you cant really buy good sloe gin unless you can find a little country market selling home made goods, store brought is syrupy and horrid. Home made sloe gin is possibly the best thing ever!!! As is damson gin too.
I spent a good five weeks scouring the landscape around me hunting for sloes. They do grow in North America, however the problem is there aren’t really native hedgerows here – there aren’t really any hedges at all. We even visited an arboretum in the hope a blackthorn bush or three might have been planted. Alas it wasn’t to be so. Not to be deterred by a little thing like missing the key ingredient I had to think outside the box. And ta dah….. the internet is an amazing place. I managed to find some freeze dried sloes that could be shipped to the states. Hurrah Christmas is saved. Ok so this maybe a little extreme but I couldn’t not make sloe gin just because I’m the other side of the world now could I!
Any way a week later the sloes arrived, I rehydrated them and bottled up some home made slow gin, I’m pleased to say its working well so far! It needs to be left a few weeks but it was ready just in time for a Christmas tipple over a game of monopoly!