Sloes are the little blue-black fruit that grow on the blackthorn bushes by the Colne estuary. They are ripe about now and on Saturday I went and picked about two pounds. They're too bitter to eat in bulk - although one will take the skin off your tongue in an amusing way - but you can make DRINK with them. I had a half-bottle of vodka and one of whisky, so I filled them with sloes and added a bit of sugar. Now they are sitting on the kitchen windowsill, slowly turning deeper red. You have to prick the sloes before you put them in (or freeze them so they burst their skins)... the sloe gin website has more details.
By Christmas or so I'll have some rich red booze. The neighbours (Pete and Sam from IDA) are getting some gin in which is the more traditional base liquor.