Sloe Gin recipe

Sorry, can't resist saying it, "first find your sloes". For those who don't know what Sloes are, they are the fruit of the Blackthorn bush, they look like miniature plums, (dark purple with a white bloom on the skin) slightly smaller than a Mirabelle Plum (Fig 1: Sloes on right, Blackberries on left.).


Collect them once they are ripe, usually around the end of September or the middle of October. This is a lovely warming drink, I don't like Gin, but I do enjoy this.



450 g (16oz) Sloes

225 g (8oz) Granulated Sugar

1 Litre Gin, a good gin is worth using for this in order to ensure the full Juniper berry flavour blends with the Sloes.


The Sloes need to have their skins broken, you can do this by popping them in the freezer for several hours, that should burst the skins; you can prick them with a pin, or, as I do, just run a sharp knife down one side of the fruit as if I were going to remove the stone.

As you puncture the skin add the Sloes to a large jar which has the capacity to take 2.5 Litres of liquid.


Once you have all the Sloes in the jar, add the sugar over the top of the fruit, then pour over the gin.


Place the lid on the jar, give it a good shake to dissolve the sugar, and then place the jar in a cool dark place.


Return to the jar and shake it every other day at least, I tend to shake every day for the first couple of weeks. You will see the colour of the liquid change to a lovely ruby red.


After a month or so, drain the liquid though a muslin cloth into another jar or into a bowl large enough to take the liquid. Leave the Sloes to drain over the top of the bowl or jar for a couple of hours to ensure all of the precious liquid is out.


Bottle into sterile bottles and then drink at your leisure – this also makes lovely Christmas presents.

   Sloe Gin