Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sloe Gin

Usually on this blog I'm all for sharing local knowledge, but when it comes to revealing the best sites for sloes you'll find me less than forthcoming I'm afraid!

This year I've managed to scrounge up enough for a batch of gin, but if you're planning on making some you'll need to be quick as unfortunately, this years sloe yield (in my neck of the woods) seems to be low and what there is seems to have ripened very early.

If I'm honest I can't really call this a recipe, more of a guideline. The important thing to emphasise is patience as the longer you're prepared to leave your gin to mature the more complex the flavour will become. Some people view the process of making the gin as laborious but if you approach it in the right way then it becomes a therapeutic autumnal ritual.

The end product is on the sweet and syrupy side and can be a bit overwhelming for some if taken neat. Added to desserts or sauces for meats such as game or pork, it adds a great depth and complexity of flavour. It's also great mixed in a cocktail. I'm a fan of anything that pairs the sweet spicy gin with a hefty citrus kick.

As a rule of thumb:

500g sloes will need 250g of caster sugar and 1 litre of gin.


Prick your sloes with a fork or other similarly pointed implement and drop into a large sturdy jar. (you might like to do this in front of the TV with a beer or glass of wine).
Add the sugar and gin and shake vigorously. Shake everyday until the sugar dissolves. Remove the sloes after around three months and decant into bottles.
Wait for a few months and you'll have a fruity, lively number. If you're prepared to wait years however, you'll be rewarded with something of a much more complex nature.

Here's some I made earlier.