Sloe Gin World Championships Deadline Extended
Sloe Gin World Championships deadline extended
The deadline for entries to this year's Sloe Gin World Championships has been extended until 10:00am on Wednesday 14th December – the day of the event – for postal entries which have preregistered. Online registration closes at 6:00om on 13th December.
Artisan and commercial sloe gin makers from across the world will gather at the village pub on the Kent/Sussex border near Tunbridge Wells each year, to vie for the coveted 'Sloe Ginster World Champion' title for 2016 on Wednesday 14th December.
This year there are new competition categories to include entries for other liqueurs such as damson gin and sloe vodka.
Postal entries have already arrived at the pub from as far afield as Scotland, Devon and Germany.
This Christmas marks the 8th year of the annual event that began when pub locals began arguing over the perfect sloe gin recipe. Dating back to around 1750, The George Inn, a traditional country pub with cosy log fires, is said to make an ideal setting to judge the most traditional of Christmas liqueurs.
Sloes, a smaller relative of the plum, are used to make the red liqueur normally with an alcohol content between 15 and 30% abv. Traditionally it is made by infusing gin with the bitter-tasting drupes, using sugar to extract the sloe juices.
“Hand crafted sloe gins had traditionally been superior to commercially produced sloe gins which were often made by flavouring cheaper neutral grain spirits, producing an inferior flavour akin to a fruit cordial taste,” said pub landlord Greg Elliott, who added., “But the upsurge in gin consumption among younger drinkers has led to a great number of larger distillers launching their own brand sloe gins this year.”
Sloe gin is made from ripe sloes that, by tradition, are picked after the first frost of winter. Each drupe should be hand-picked with a thorn taken from the blackthorn bush on which it grew. Some sloe gin connoisseurs say that the drupes may only be pricked silver pin or fork.
Modern protagonists pick the sloes earlier and freeze them, avoiding the pricking stage, claiming that this not only splits the drupes, but by analogy to ice wine, the freezing changes the flavour of the drupes.
Last year's entrants travelled far and wide to contest the competition. The Sloe Ginster World Champion title 2015 was awarded to Edinburgh-based Demijohn. Last year's entrants travelled far and wide to contest the competition. Nearer to home, Kevin Ladley of Dartford was named the Homemade Sloe World Ginster Champion.
All proceeds of the event are donated to the MS which supports people with Multiple Sclerosis - www.mssociety.org.uk.
Homemade entries, accompanied by a completed entry form, may be submitted on the day by 1:00pm. Judging begins at 2:00pm.
Further information on entering the Sloe Gin World Championships via www.moondown.co.uk/bookingforms/MoonDown_SGBF_2015.p