Sloes tend to start appearing in late September, and a lot of people say that they are usually at their best picked after the first frost. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a sloe bush in your back garden, you’re often better off picking them when you see them (provided they are ripe, of course) – chances are they will be gathered up by another keen forager if you don’t!
I made my batch in late September, and although I’m not usually known for my patience, I managed to resist temptation until now, and I’ve been rewarded by a beautiful deep red flavoursome gin.
You will need:
225g/8oz caster sugar
1 litre/1¾ pint gin
A large bowl
A large sterilised jar (Kilner jars work well)
1.) Put your sloes in a sieve and rinse.
2.) Prick each of your sloes all over with a clean needle or pin and put into your sterilised jar
3.) Pour in the sugar and gin, seal tightly and shake well
4.) Store in a dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week. Then, shake once a week for at least two months.
5.) You’re aiming for your gin to turn a rich burgundy colour.
6.) Serve a small measure on its own with a couple of ice cubes, or as a long drink with soda water.