How to make sloe gin

Make a batch of sloe gin to give as a gift or to keep in the cupboard. You'll also find sloe gin cocktail recipes to help you make the most of it.

Points to remember:

  • Sloes are small wild plums that grown along hedgerow.
  • They are available from September to November but never pick anything without referring to a good reference book first, and always leave anything you’re unsure of.
  • Some recipes say to prick the sloes with a needle or only pick sloes after the first frost. There is nothing wrong with this advice but it isn’t essential and the frost can be emulated by freezing the sloes before using.
  • Whether you choose to make sloe gin or vodka the method and quantities are the same.
  • For every litre of gin you will need 500g of sloes and 250g of white sugar.
  • Tip the sloes into a large, clean jar then add the sugar and finally pour over the gin.
  • Close the jar and give everything a good shake.
  • Leave the jar in an ambient dark place for thhree months (a kitchen cupboard is ideal) shaking it every day or so for the first week until all the sugar has dissolved. After that give the jar a shake whenever you remember.
  • After three months strain the gin using a funnel lined with muslin or a coffee filter paper.
  • The gin is now ready to drink and will keep indefinitely in a dark place. The longer you leave it the better the flavour becomes.
  • As well as enjoying it straight you can add a splash of sloe gin to a glass of sparkling wine to make a Foragers Fizz, or use it as the base to a fruity G&T.

Now try these sloe gin recipes:

Sloe gin cocktail
Sloe royales
Sloe mulled wine

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