Hang on to your Sloe Gin Fizz. Just as sloe gin was starting to work its way out from the back of the liquor cabinet with new, quality craft bottlings, Mother Nature reared her sloe gin-hating head. An overly wet and chilly summer in the U.K. is threatening the sloe berry (and sloe gin) supply. We may be in for a shortage.
According to The Telegraph, the excess rain has encouraged the growth of a fungus called Taphrina pruni (aka pocket plum) on sloe berries, which halts the ripening of the fruit. Early forecasts are predicting that many of the berries, which grow on Blackthorn trees, will be deformed and unusable this year.
“The Woodland Trust said reports of malformed berries had come in from Scotland to as far south as Buckinghamshire with particularly nasty outbreaks in Yorkshire and Lancashire,” The Telegraph reported.