You might remember that, each year at peak foraging time, I buy enough bottles of the cheapeast gin I can muster to embarrass myself at the supermarket checkout. Then I stick sloes in it. A lot of my production is given away. The rest is often brought out as an end of meal treat. Friends seem to appreciate that.
Hortus though is an entirely different kettle of fish and steeping autumnal fruits could be viewed a sacrilege. Tonic and ice and a slice suffice. Isn't the bottle beautiful? It's topped with a lovely wooden cork. The fact that empties could be used for my homemade liqueur collection convinced me to cough up.
What's surprised the snobbiest of my friends is that it's from Lidl. The natty little label informs me that this is an artisan gin devised by Kevin Love, a bloke that used to work for Heston Blummenthal and it's stuffed full of botanicals. I can't comment on that. My taste is not that refined. All I know that it is bloody lovely, really smooth. And at £15.99 a pop it's much more affordable than some of those posh gins that I've bought extra special friends for extra special presents in the past. I've only tasted the ordinary version but it comes in a spiced variety. There's a sloe gin as well. Might have to try that if I ever run out of my own home grown version!