The three ingredient drink that kindly sees you through the cold winter months and makes the ultimate Christmas gift. Sloe Gin is simplest of autumn brews to make and has the ability to make you sing from the inside. And if gin isn’t your thing, vodka is a fantastic alternative.
YOU WILL NEED
A large sterilised glass Kilner jar
About 500g ripe sloes
250g caster sugar
1 litre of good gin
Wash and dry the fruit, remove all stems, and freeze the sloes for at least a couple of days so that the skins soften and split.
Prick each sloe with a sturdy needle. This helps the juices bleed into the gin and strengthen the flavour and colour.
Cover with sugar. Top up with gin, close the lid, give it a good shake, and store in cool, dark cupboard.
Give the jar a good shake and turn the bottle a few times each day, until all of the sugar has dissolved
It should be left at least a couple of months. but the longer you leave it to mature the better.
Give it a taste if you think it is ready and if you prefer it to be a bit sweeter, make a simple sugar syrup and add to taste.
Strain the liqueur through a muslin cloth and pour into sterilised bottles and label. If you can resist drinking it, sloe gin will store indefinitely.
Enjoy on its own or pour into a flute and top up with bubbly to create a festive fizzy cocktail.
A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA
Don’t bin the fruit once you’ve made your sloe gin – it will be perfect to make chocolate liqueurs for Christmas.
*Please remember, when it comes to collecting sloes, you need to take your time and pick carefully. The thorns on the Blackthorn tree will cause pain.