Give your gin a fresh twist by making some delicious sloes gin. First featured in Woman’s Weekly in 1925, it takes just 30 minutes prep but needs to be left for 14 weeks before drinking, however it’s worth the wait. We like making up a big batch of bottles September to to give as gorgeous gifts to family and friends – we have a feeling school teachers would also appreciate the gesture after a long term! You can find sloes in the shops around early autumn or go out to forage your own in the hedges of the countryside if you’re lucky enough to live nearby some trees. You can apply this principle to other flavours, too. If you can’t get our hands on some sloes then you could try blackberries, raspberries or plums. Each will give their own unique flavour and work especially well in cocktails come Christmas!
- 1.5kg sloes, wiped, stalks removed
- 2.5 litres gin
- 750g demerara or granulated sugar
- 15g almonds, blanched and skinned, optional
Prick the sloes with a large needle in a few places (or squeeze them gently between your fingers). Put into a large jar (a stone gallon jar is the best to use). Add the gin, sugar and almonds, if using.
Cork the jar very tightly (or put a well-fitting lid on) and shake it well. Shake well once a day for about 14 weeks, and then it will be ready.
Strain and bottle, and remember to cork it securely. Drink the gin neat, as an aperitif or nightcap, or pour about 100ml (3½fl oz) over ice in a glass and top up with tonic water.
Top tip for making How to make sloe gin
This recipe uses just over three 75cl bottles of gin, if you'd rather make less, cut it down to 250g sloes and 175-200g sugar per bottle of gin