January and February are not the greatest of angling months in my opinion and are a good time to occupy one'self with such things as decorating. Far better now than when the weather picks up and you will curse even more for being stuck inside with a paint brush.
Today I took the opportunity to bottle my sloe gin. I have been meaning to do it since the Christmas holidays and finally made the move today. This is a real winter warmer comfort drink and I would recommend it if you not tried it before, it is good fun to make your own. My recipe is as follows:
2 bottles of the cheapest gin you can find (make sure it is at least 35% alcohol though)
1 and 3/4 pounds of sloes
8oz of sugar
First find your sloes which are the fruit of the blackthorn bush. Pick some after the first frosts, this is a good way to spend a late autumn afternoon. Wash them in water and then prick each to release the flavour. Put them into a liquid tight container and then add the sugar and the gin. You can vary the sugar depending how sweet you prefer the sloe gin. My wife's uncle would use 1lb of sugar to 1lb of sloes but this is too sweet for me. All you have to do now is wait but give the mixture a turn every day for the first week and then once a week. It should be ready by Christmas, I am a little late bottling this year. It is a nice tipple and makes the thought of decorating bareable.