Artisan producers from around the world are gathering at the George Inn in Frant today (Wednesday) to fight for the title of ‘Sloe Ginster World Champion’.
A panel of expert judges will preside over the 7th edition of the event, which was originally conceived when locals began arguing over which was the best recipe out there.
Entrants are travelling from far and wide to try and provide the answer. Last year’s coveted prize was awarded to Edinburgh based maker Demijohn, with Sloe Seduction from Marden named gold medal winner for South East England.
Organisers say poor weather this summer has provided the perfect conditions for sloes and drupes, and a bumper crop of the bitter fruit has given contestants the best possible raw materials to work with.
Landlord George Elliot said: “Hand crafted sloe gins are generally superior to commercially produced branded sloe gin liqueurs, which are made by flavouring cheaper neutral grain spirits, producing an inferior flavour akin to a fruit cordial taste.”
The judging will begin at 2, with the winners expected to be announced around an hour later.
All proceeds from the event will be donated to the MS Society, which supports people with multiple sclerosis.