Monday, 23 September 2013

Made: Sloe gin

As much as I love spring and summer, I have a real fondness for autumn, "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness," not least because of the glut of fruit with which to make cakes, crumbles, jams and this, the crowing glory of a fruitful harvest: sloe gin. 

You will need:
1 litre of gin (because of all the extra flavour being added here it really doesn't matter if it's quality gin or not: Aldi is great for cheap spirits)
1lb of sloes
3oz caster sugar
A large, air-tight jar or bottle

1. Pour the sugar into the bottom of the jar and top with the gin. 
2. Prick each sloe with a (clean!) pin and add, giving it a good stir (this is why I like to use a jar rather than a bottle, as you can fit a spoon into it).
3. Shake the jar/bottle daily for a week, and then once a week for at least two months, at which point...
4. DO NOT SHAKE before filtering.  Filter through a muslin cloth into sterilised bottles.  You should be left with a gloriously fruity, sweet purple liquor.  The thick gunge at the bottom of the jar can be used to add an unusual edge to a boozy trifle.

If gin is not your thing, sloe vodka works just as well using exactly the same method.  I'll be using the lion's share of this autumn's gin to give as gifts in Christmas hampers, but should you want to hog the whole litre yourself, it keeps for years and years.


  1. Sounds wonderful but I have no idea what a sloe is or tastes like. Going to have to google to see if we have an equivalent here. Save some for me!!

  2. Homemade sloe gin is one of my favorites! The only downside is the waiting until it's ready to drink ;-)