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  1. Just a heads up-shoppersvineyard.com had Rittenhouse BIB this week available for $11.99/btl.
  2. Oolong

    Sloe Gin?

    If they have any roads or streets nearby with "blackthorn" in the name then more than likely has or had sloe berries growning there. The blackthorn bush is very invasive and often cut way back or removed in developed areas.
  3. Oolong

    Sloe Gin?

    I researched this extensively last summer. Without purchasing a box car load from a Bulgarian farm, sloe berries are unavailable commercially and must be picked wild from country lanes in England and Germany. However, fresh fruit may not come to the US from Western Europe. The USDA website says they do grow in the northeastern US and in various other northern states. I hiked several areas in Maine that, according to the USDA, had wild sloes but nothing turned up. I did procure 4 pounds for myself last September through an English connection and infused Seagram's Distiller's reserve with some sugar and have been delightfully enjoying it since last Christmas.
  4. That's a keeper. ← No doubt I will be using this line in the future. I've always just called it the original flavored vodka.
  5. Oolong

    Sloe Gin?

    My search for sloe berries and sloe gin initially turned out to be fruitless, pun intended. Even the USDA website says they exist in the Northeast but many hikes in the woods and walks through neigborhoods with streets by the name of Blackthorn lane or road, turned out empty. Blackthorn bushes are very invasive and cut back or down altogether if there is any type of residential development. In England, they are found done many country lanes and picked for gin and jams. The fact that it grows wild only (I did find a farm in Bulgaria but they would only ship a boxcar load) and that fresh fruit from Europe is restricted in the US, made the task all the more difficult. An email to Plymouth revealed no source either. Thank god for the internet and ebay. For a mere $4 a pound, I found a sloe berry picker on Great Britain ebay and convinced her to send me 4 pounds through the mail. The trip caused a few rotted berries but I eneded up with well over 3 pounds of sloes that I infused with Seagram's Distiller's reserve and some cane sugar. I bottled after 3 months (practical wisdom says 3 months minimum up to a year but no longer than 2 years as the pits could leach a toxin) and measured the volume increase. The increase of juice lowered the proof from 102 to 81, still fairly potent for the traditonal liqueur. I wanted as much extraction as possible, hence the higher proof gin (and a good price too). Very rich flavor with almonds, vanilla, cherry and a hint of that medicinal quality but delicious. I have yet to make cocktails with it and so far prefer it as a neat after dinner drink. I forgot to mention that during my online research, I came across the ultimate sloe berry sight, www.sloe.biz Everything you'd ever want to know about sloe and damson gin making! Also, for distillate proof conversions, without an alcometer, I found homedistiller.org very helpful
  6. One other Jamaican specialty I can think of that is not exported is Rumona, a Wray and Nephew Rum Liqueur also found at the airport. W&N Rum Cream, Peenie Wally Peanut Cream (made w overproof) are decent if into that kind of liqueur. Pick up some Dragon Stout while you're at it too although you'll have to go to a supermarket to get that. There is a decent supermarket near Rose Hall just beyond the airport if going that way (toward Ocho Rios). I couldn't find any small rum distilleries to visit but wanted to. Does anyone know of any that have public access other than Appleton?
  7. So any suggestions from anyone on where to get the Wray & Nephew Allspice Liqueur in Jamaica? ← I found my bottles of both 21yr old Appleton and Wray and Nephew Allspice liqueur right at the airport. There are some Liquor stores in MoBay however but I have the feeling the best variety will be at the airport. If shopping in town then check them out but call first to make sure they are open.
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