5 gin-friendly fruits you can pick yourself & how to use them with gin!

Our Craft Gin Club Gin of the Month box for July 2019 was all about the call of nature and getting outdoors to enjoy your gin! And what better way to embrace nature’s bounty than with some fruit picking or even foraging for the fruity goodness that can go into your gin?

There’s an abundance of fruits and flowers available in both the farms and hedgerows around the UK all year round, so whether it’s to create your own home-made gin infusion, a delicious fruit liqueur to enliven your favourite G&T or simply as a cocktail garnish, it’s time to get outdoors and pick some gin-friendly fruits! Here are our five favourite fruits to pick yourself and how to use them with your gin.


Image:  Jamie Oliver

What? Sloes

When? September to December.

Traditionally, you wait until after the first frosts of the year to pick slows - this allows the frost to split the skins so the juice runs out easily into your homemade gin. If you don’t want to wait, you can pick them and freeze them, which will have the same effect.

Where?
Blackthorn bushes are very commonplace among the hedgerows of the UK countryside (just watch out for the long needles!).

The slow berries are ripe and ready to pick once they are a rich dark purple colour and squash easily between your fingertips. If they've already started to drop naturally to the ground, they’re ready for picking!

How can I use sloes with gin?


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What? Strawberries

When? May-September, peaking in June and July

Where?
If you’re lucky, you might find some wild strawberries on your foraging expeditions. However, it’s probably more time-efficient to visit one of the many pick-your-own farms around the UK!

How can I use strawberries with gin?


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What? Elderflowers

When? June is the best month for picking elderflower sprays

Where?
Woods and hedgerows around the UK share an abundance of (free!) elderflower sprays come the spring. Look out for big sprays of highly perfumed tiny white flowers.

How can I use elderflowers with gin?

  • Make your own elderflower cordial to go into your gin cocktails or G&T.

  • Note: Elderberries (which come into fruit later in summer) are slightly toxic and very bitter; they need to be cooked before eating, so don’t be tempted to garnish your G&T with these raw berries, however pretty they might look! It’s also inadvisable to marinade elderberries in gin. We recommend sticking to the elderflower cordial!


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What? Rhubarb

When? You can get rhubarb for most of the year in the UK; the forced rhubarb season tends to be available from late December until March; field-grown rhubarb is in season from April until September, peaking between April and June.

Where? Pick-your-own farms around the UK.

How can I use rhubarb with gin?


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What? Raspberries

When? From June to October. There are varieties ready to harvest in both summer and autumn, so you can enjoy raspberries all summer long; they also freeze well, so they can even be eaten in the autumn and winter.

Where? Pick-your-own farms around the UK.

How can I use raspberries with gin?



Every month, we select one very special bottle of gin, including rare and exclusive editions not available elsewhere, and send it to our Craft Gin Club members in a treat-filled Gin of the Month box.