Pass me that bottle, and a glass, pour and drink – ahhhh, thats better.
Its thats time of year again when the Sloes are beautifully ripe and ready to be picked, well not exactly as they are best when they have had the first frost.
There are people who spoil this – If I was to wait for the first frost all the sloes would be gone, so thats the reason I pick them slightly early, and a good job to as I was in the park the other week and the hedgerows were lathered in them, when I went to actually pick them a few days ago, there were hardly any left, baring in mind there are miles of these in the park I go to.
If you were wondering what Sloes are they are berries that grow on a blackthorn bush, they look very much like a blackberry but with a pip in the centre, you kind find them in parks, on country roads and in remote areas. Ive found that the further south of the UK are better for these, I pick them in Yorkshire and Sunderland and the ones in Yorkshire are better in my opinion.
Now the bit you have been waiting for – The recipe.
Before I give you this recipe I just want to explain the best way to make Sloe Gin. The first year is the hardest, this is the year you need to leave it alone, DO NOT DRINK!!!! well you can if you want but the idea is to make it every year but drink the previous years whilst one is stored away. And the longer you leave it the better, I currently have a 4 year old sloe gin stored away, this was my very first bottle so I keep it for Christmas. My gran always complains about it and says she wants it as gin shouldn’t be left that long – She loves gin.
Things you need.
450g Sloe berries
200g-300g caster sugar
The most important thing when making Sloe Gin is that you need to prick every single berry with a pin. Its time consuming, boring and gives you sore and sticky fingers but it does end with a great benefit.
- prick all the berries and put into the kilner jar
- pour over the sugar, the more you put in the sweeter the gin will be.
- pour over the gin
Then close the lid tight and give it a little shake, store in a cool dry place, I usually leave mine in the garage, you need to pay a visit to the bottle – NOT FOR A TIPPLE, but to give it a shake, just once a day for at least 2 weeks or so or until all the sugar has dissolved. then leave it for 3 months if you want to drink it straight away but ideally 6months to a year.
When your ready to drink straining though a muslin cloth or any other straining way you wish, you want to get as much of the bits in as possible.
Simple as that, and like I say the first year is hardest get that one out of the way and your good to go.
This drink is ideal for a cold night or Christmas, the family will you if you break this open on Christmas day.