Sloe gin

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:
450g/1lb sloes
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.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

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