October is here and the sloe berries are out in force. Sloe berries are usually best picked in October or even November, but due to surplus rain and low temperatures this August our favourite berries have started ripening early. You only have to look around you on your Sunday walk following your roast dinner to notice that you’re surrounded by sloes, we say, get picking!
- 12oz of fruit (350g)
- 3 oz of caster sugar (75g)
- 1 bottle of gin (75cl)
- A couple of jam jars with good, tight-fitting lids (Cleaned!)
- Presentation bottles
Wash the sloes in warm water and using a needle prick each fruit a few times, and divide them between the two jam jars
Put half the sugar and half the gin into each jar and close the lids tightly and store in a cool, dry, dark place
Give the jars a good shake each day, until all of the sugar has dissolved and then leave to mature for at least three months – but no more than six months.
Following this time, taste for sweetness and add sugar if preferred, then continue to shake the jars each day until all of the newly added sugar has dissolved
Once ready, strain all of the liquid through a sieve and decant into your presentation bottles (We recommend labelling your fruity goodness with a label and the date)
Your sloe gin is now ready to consume however for the best flavour it is best left to mellow for a bit longer (couple of months)
Caution! Don’t dispose of your sloe berries!
Don’t throw away your alcohol immersed sloes when you’re finished, why not make some tremendously distilled yet sweet chocolates. Melt a large quantity of quality dark chocolate (70% + cocoa content) and pour a small amount into each section of an ice cube tray. Add a sloe berry and then top up with chocolate. Put in the fridge and chill until set – these make a great sophisticated after dinner treat!