How to make sloe gin
Sloe-infused gin is a delicious winter treat – once you have made it for the first time, you will want to make it every year. Sloes are usually ready towards the end of September or early October and the gin is usually ready to drink by Christmas. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, this gin makes the perfect Christmas gift. Read on to find out just how easy it is to make sloe gin.
Sloe gin ingredients
You will need approximately 500g of sloes to make one litre of gin. It is rare to find these available for sale; therefore, you will need to find some blackthorn trees out in the countryside to source your crop of sloes. To tell whether the sloes are ripe, try pressing one between your thumb and finger – if it bursts easily, it is ready to be picked. Many people say that you should not pick sloes until after the first frosts; however, you can simulate this by popping them in the freezer overnight.
In addition to the sloes, you will need about 200g of caster sugar and one litre of gin. Again, there is much debate about whether you need to use expensive gin or whether the end result is much the same even with cheaper gins. Our suggestion is to experiment to find which works best for you.
Sloe gin method
Once you have picked your sloes, wash them carefully and put them in the freezer overnight. The next day, prick any that have not burst their skins in the freezer and half-fill sterilised bottles with them. Our flip-top bottles are perfect and help to make this gin a great-looking gift.
Next, pour the gin into the bottles. Add the sugar, flip down the lid and shake for a moment to mix everything up. Experimenting is the name of the game when it comes to how much sugar to add – add too much and the gin could taste too sweet. One good piece of advice is that you can always add a little extra sugar at the end of the two-month fermentation process once you have tasted it.
Once you have added the sugar and given the mixture a good shake, lay the bottle on its side in a dark cupboard, turning it every couple of days.
After a couple of months, your gin will be ready to drink.