Sloe Gin Recipe
I appreciate that by blogging my Sloe Gin recipe that I have now addressed practically every subject I could poke my beak into. But I am no chef so you won’t be seeing any baking tips from me. I just make a cracking moonshine (even if I do say so myself). I went home to Devon this weekend firstly to visit my family, secondly to pick Sloes. For Sloe Gin you will need the berries, sugar, gin and I add Vanilla pods. You will also need empty sterilised bottles.
The Sloes aren’t fantastic this year and the hedges were practically bare. If you go foraging for them yourself then my tip would be to take a walking stick or umbrella as all the best berries were out of reach, something hooked to pull branches down would have been perfect. As it was three generations of my family found themselves climbing into bushes, along cliffs and into ditches along Berry Head to fill our tubs. The perfect Sloe is slightly firm with a purple sheen over it. Discard any green or wrinkled ones.
Once you’ve heard your berry picking party say “I’m getting fucking bored of this now” (I’m looking at you Mum) then head home and rinse your sloes. One last sense check for rotten ones would be sensible now. Now, mundane and laborious as this is you need to prick each sloe a couple of times over with a needle. Fill your empty bottle with Sloes about a third of the way up, add a generous amount of caster sugar and a vanilla pod.
I never use exact measurements, it’s more about common sense. If the sugar and sloes take up a half of your bottle there’s too much in there. All you need to do now is fill the bottle up with Gin, and you really don’t need to go buy Tanqueray. I made one batch with Gordon’s and one with Lidl’s gin last year and couldn’t tell the difference, the flavour comes from the other ingredients.
Now you need to prove you’re not a snaffling alcoholic as it takes patience. In fact three months is the perfect time. You need to place the sealed bottles somewhere cool and dark and once a week give the bottles a little shake. Someone once told me they place theirs in the boot of the car as the bottles will get the movement needed for the brewing while you drive so you don’t need to check in on them.
Once your three months is up then strain through a sieve to get rid of the little bits that remain, place the liquid in the bottles and well… get drunk!
(Sloe Gin is lovely over roasted plums and it’s also the perfect late night festival drink, warms your bones)