I am a huge fan of DIY flavoured alcohol. In the past I have made orange spiced vodka, and elderflower and blackberry vodka, all of which were delicious. Today I wanted to share my very easy sloe gin recipe. All you need is a little patience to not drink the gorgeous looking red nectar before Christmas time. It makes a perfect handmade Christmas gift too if you can bare to part with it!
First up, you need to collect your sloes. Finding them was easy, as it was a bumper year, I collected 2lbs of them, from one tree, leaving behind lots more. The best place to look for them are in hedges, as the Prunus spinosa (Sloe) is often used as hedging. Google what the sloes and the leaves of the tree should look like if you are unsure at all.
Now I definitely collected mine whilst they were ripe, but we hadn’t as yet had the first frost, so I popped mine in the freezer (this imitates the first frost )and also pops the skin. If you’ve picked yours after the first frost, give them a good clean, and be sure to prick the skin on each sloe.
You then need to add them into sterilised jars. For 2 lbs of sloes, I used 1 and 1./2 litres of gin, filling the jar half full with sloes, before adding the gin. I also add sugur, granulated is absolutely fine. For this batch I used 12 oz. I also, in one jar added vanilla bean extract. I’ve read a few recipes that add this, so I will update whether this improves the flavour.
Now is the waiting game. Place them somewhere dark, shake the jars each day until the sugar is dissolved. Then leave it be, for a minimum of three months. I started mine in September, so these will definitely be ready come mid-December.
You will need to strain the gin after the three months, and then decant it into sterilised containers. As this year I’ll be giving mine as gifts I shall putting them in small glass bottles with instructions of how to make the ultimate slow gin fizz! I’ll update with a photograph of that one I do it.