Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Sloe Gin

Last week's wild fruit horde was sweeter than ever for the simple reason that we brought home a huge amount of that acrid berry, the sloe.

Sloes are only really good for one thing and that is plonked in a jar or a bottle with a load of sugar and alcohol. In the raw form a bitten sloe can make even the most beautiful of faces turn inwards and cause children to run screaming. However, a long soak in sugar and booze and the true qualities show, permeating gin or vodka with unique floral flavour and smells making the risk of a nasty cut from its spiky home in the blackthorn bush all worthwhile.

I now wait patiently as the sloes sit in a demijohn in the garage doing what they do best. 3 months should do it but if you can resist it, the longer the marinade the better the flavour and a more intense, purple colour.

Sloe Gin
(Multiply the ingredients depending on your pickings)

1kg sloes
500g caster sugar
2 litres gin

1 - Wash and pick your sloes. Now the bit that causes debate. Do you spend an age pricking each berry to allow the juices to flow or do you freeze then thaw allowing the skin to burst naturally? It is up to you, but I bashed mine in a pestle and mortar and will sieve carefully when it comes to bottling.
2 - Pile into a sterilised demijohn or large clean bottles. Pour in the sugar and gin, seal tightly, shake well and place in a cool dark place. Give it a shake every week.
3 - After a minimum of 3 months, pour through a muslin cloth into clean sterilised bottles and it is ready to drink, however the longer you leave it the better it will get.


Chef Jeena said...

I'll be back in 3 months for a glass. ;-)

Magic Cochin said...

You can use vodka instead of gin - some people think it makes a superior drink – I'll have to sample both again before I give averdict ;-)

I had a glass of 2007 Sloe Vodka last night - a gorgeous shade of purpley-pink and tasted divine!


PS - when you decant the liquid, you're left with sloes which are no longer nasty and sour - they are soaked in alcohol and can be stoned and added to trifle or chopped and stired into ice-cream or mixed into chocolate truffles or ... you get the idea David

Sylvie said...

There is nothing better than a good bottle of homemade sloe gin or vodka. My dad is making some this year and I've already put in an order with him.

Sylvie said...

Forgot to add that it's nice to add a vanilla pod as well.

cackster said...

The girlfriend loves gin but she never drinks it sloe-ly.

Strickley said...

Last week I strained off some Sloe Gin that I started earlier in the year (from last year's frozen sloes) - absolutely wonderful and perfect for my sore throat.

I then poured a bottle of white wine over the sloes and left in the fridge for a week. Last night we had amazing glasses of fruity wine with a hint of gin.

Well recommended

Charlotte at Great Big veg Challenge said...

I am back....
and actually the sloe gin would suit me fine now - just enough to dull the residual ache of my back.
Sorry to have been so absent and really looking forward t obeing back in the blogging fold.