I love sloes. Maybe it’s because they remind me of my favourite time of year, maybe it’s because those little matte purple/blue berries look so picturesque and stereotypical of our British countryside… I don’t know, but one thing I love more than the sight of them up on the branches as I take my walks is what I then do with them… sloe gin!
Last week I finally got around to making some, and now I have finally got around to writing about it. The whole process is definitely one to do with company, much more festive. I’m lucky enough to have a partner with access to off-the-beaten-track fields and woodland acres, so we came across an abundance of places just ripe for the picking. Too many in fact. We spent the best part of a chilly Sunday driving around in a Polaris scanning the land and perhaps we overdid it slightly…
There were enough sloes for litre after litre of drink but I started with one just one batch in order to keep my sanity….
I weighed out 450g of sloes and rinsed them (use a colander or chip tray for draining!) and then begin the least enjoyable part of making sloe gin: pricking the little individual berries with a fork. It can take a while if you’re as precise as myself, another reason why company is a good idea! After pricking the sloes were put into two Kilner jars I had sterilised (with a couple of little Kilner bottles on stand by for any excess!).
Then I weighed out 225g of caster sugar and distributed evenly between the two jars.
And then it was time for the gin! You can use vodka too, I like to make both to be honest so there’s something for everyone, or in case I’m not in the mood for gin (never). I used a litre bottle.
Shake it up and you’re on you’re way! I’ve given the jars a shake every day for the past week and now I’ll store them somewhere dry and dark and shake weekly for at least two months. It’s good to start doing this on a yearly basis so you can leave it for a whole year before drinking. It does make a difference, but unless you’ve got some ready from the year before to then get out the impatience will get the better of you and it’ll be open at Christmas!