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Loose Birds & Game

Loose Birds & Game

By Andrew Pern

Published 2010

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One way or another, our family has always been involved with booze. Social events used to involve Grandpop’s pink gins and his infamous gallons of home-brew, of which I seemed to be the only connoisseur (or was that victim?). I was possibly the only one stupid enough to sample its unique, ‘subtle’, yeasty taste. That might explain why I have never drunk bitter since…
THE BAR. 8.35 AM
The meeting place for an early morning call, and a quick ‘livener’. before a day’s shoot, out in the cold.
On a visit to Germany with one of my schoolmates, Chris Lloyd, whose father was stationed out there in the Army, I decided to buy a souvenir Rumtopf. A Rumtopf is an earthenware vessel into which fruits are placed, layer upon layer, as they come into season. Each layer is topped up with rum, lightly covering the fruit. The end result is a deliciously fruity liqueur of juicy seasonal berries which can be used in decadent desserts, and the ‘juices’ can be used to warm the cockles on a cold day’s shooting, or, in front of a sizzling log fire on a winter’s night. I had decided to give it as a surprise Christmas present to my parents. I brought it back with me in July, so it was quite a challenge adding sun-kissed strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, and topping it up with autumn sloes and damsons.