Gin + Sugar + Sloes + Patience
I think Sloe Gin is a festive feast in a bottle – so bring on the festivities!
Blackthorn berries, aka sloes are just coming into season. We were lucky to find an early stash on a walk we took along the Royal Military Canal last weekend; and of course we’d forgotten to take any collecting bags, so a quick swig to finish the water from the bottle and hey presto a berry carrier.
Homemade Sloe Gin Recipe
I don’t belive that there is an exact recipe for Sloe Gin. The last time I made this I used a hat full of berries to make 3 bottles. Basically you need 1 large bottle of Gin, 2 empty and clean bottles on standby, a bag of sugar and a hatful (or equivalent) of berries. You need to prick the berries first, pop them into the empty bottles, then pour in a third of the bag of sugar followed by decanting a third of the bottle of gin. Repeat.
You can use any old gin, cheap and cheerful is the way to go, but we ended up using branded as that was what was the cheapest when we went shopping. Strange world.
Now here comes the patience bit – you need to leave these bottles for at least 3 months, preferably 6 to 12 months. They are all the better for aging and mellowing – not unlike yours truly (LOL!). The bottles benefit from the occasional tipping upside down, to get the berries and sugar to do their magic (on the other hand I don’t!).
Caution! The other trick is to not give too many of the bottles away, it makes a great thank you / Christmas present. So you have to know when to hold back on the generosity stakes, or have made lots to store.
Making Sloe Gin is just part of the process of hoarding for winter. I say roll on winter!