Monthly Archives: August 2012
I discovered Sloe gin last year, when we in turn discovered a bush groaning with sloe’s near where we live. There seems to be an abundance of exciting trees around our apartment. Two large walnut trees right outside our building, already covered in hard, green little walnuts. An almond tree sits at the bottom of a steep slope behind, the little furry half moon pods almost ready to drop, with a sweet almond in each, and there are more apple and pear trees stretching along the road than a cockney rhyming slang can do justice to.
But for now it’s the Sloe which is ripe. If you can’t pick your own, many a farmers market has them in season over the next few weeks.
I’m a big fan of Sloe gin. In the winter it can be drunk neat, by a crackling fire, the sweet ruby red liquid warming down to your very toes. In the summer it can be used to give a fruity kick to cocktails. Now this recipe is pretty much foolproof, I tried it last year and we had the most delicious Sloe gin by Christmas. I thought it would be easiest to give measurements by the litre, as I’ve made several litres this year.
Rob’s Sloe Gin Recipe
- A litre of gin. Save the posh stuff for your daily gin needs. Supermarket own brand is perfect.
- 350-400g sloes
- 100g-200g caster sugar
- A large bottle, jar or 2 litre bottles
- Clean sterilised needle or knife
1. Sterilise your bottles. Important!
2. Wash your sloes in a sieve
3. This next bit is the most taxing. You’ll need to prick each individual sloe a few times. Once you’ve pricked through the skin of each, pop it in the gin bottle. Do this until you’ve filled half the litre bottle. If you can’t be bothered with this you can freeze the lot in a bag, and when they’re half defrosted bash the lot with a rolling pin. However I quite enjoyed sitting in front of the TV with Ján and a glass of Sloe gin 2011 pricking away to a very entertaining episode of Midsomer Murders (The Killing’s At Badgers Drift)
3. Add your sugar. 100g for sweetness, 200g for super sweet
4. Fill the rest of the bottle with your gin.
5. Seal the bottle and then give it a good shake. Store in a cool, dry place. You’ll need to shake your fermenting Sloe gin about once a day for the first week of fermentation. Then it’s just once a week for the remaining 8-10 weeks.
6. After 8-12 weeks, open, decant and enjoy on a cold winter night, or day! And remember, if you prefer to leave your sloes in the bottle, you’ve got around 6 months to finish your bottle of homebrewed sloe gin! If you opted for decanted sloes gin, you’ve got considerably longer.