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It’s time to start thinking about it, it’s only 12 weeks away! Yes Christmas is around the corner. With the blackthorn bushes covered with beautiful dark purple sloe berries, now is the time to get out in the hedgerow or garden and pick them. Making Sloe Gin could not be easier and it needs the run up to Christmas to ferment and even beyond if you can resist.

sloe gin

To make Sloe Gin you will need:

  • One large preserving jar, 2 L +. Make sure the jar has an airtight rubber ring.
  • 1/2 kg fresh sloes.
  • 1 L of Gin, any brand of your choice.
  • 1/2 kg granulated sugar.

How to do it

Clean up the sloes, remove the stalks, leaves etc. Prick each sloe with a knife and place them in the preserving jar. You need to pierce the skin of the sloes to make sure the juice of the sloes is able to leach out into the Gin. This can be a bit time consuming but it is worth it, once you have all the sloes pricked and placed in the jar add the sugar and then the Gin. Seal the jar and give it a good shake. Most of the sugar should dissolve and the sloes and Gin should get to know each other much better. Place the now Sloe Gin in a warm room an airing cupboard is perfect. Every week or so you will want to give the  jar a good shake. You want to make sure the ingredients are staying well mixed, in particular any sugar left is not setting.

About a week or two before Christmas you will want to drain the whole sloes from the Gin. Get a wide jug and sieve, you should  have no problems draining the Gin from the sloes, just pour the Gin through the sieve into the jug. You will be left with the sloes in the sieve which you can discard.

After that it is a question of bottling it up and giving some to lucky friends and family for Christmas or just do the Scrooge and keep it all for yourself 😉

Other thoughts

The way of making Sloe Gin in this post is only a guide and there are many different variations. If you have a sweeter tooth you will want more sugar etc. Whatever way you experiment with it enjoy the final result, that what it is all about.