Sloe gin recipe and tips
It’s time to dig out the sloe gin recipe!
We’re fond of a drop of sloe gin at Ski Talini, once the evenings start to darken a little earlier and the morning dog walks are a little fresher…
And with summer and autumn 2018 turning out to be excellent for fruit crops, if you’ve never made sloe gin before, this could be a vintage year! If you’re not so keen on gin then vodka works well too, although in our opinion the juniper and sloe combination makes for a heavenly tipple.
We’ve tried and tested a number of recipes (and different gins!) so here’s our recipe and some tips for success…
- Ripe sloes pop easily between your finger and thumb.
- Either pick them just after a frost (which splits the skins, allowing the juices to break free), or pop them in the freezer overnight which has the same effect!)
- Sterilise your jar by using it fresh from a hot dishwasher, or popping in the oven for 10 minutes.
- You don’t need to prick them! That’s the same job as the frost/freezer did…
- Don’t over sugar to start with, you can add sugar syrup to taste whilst bottling.
- Don’t use cheap gin! Life’s too short…
- If you like an almond flavour, splash in a couple of drops of almond essence once strained.
- If you can bear it, you can keep your sloe gin for a couple of years and it’ll carry on developing flavour.
- Start saving pretty bottles in advance – small ones make great festive/thank you gifts.
Sloe gin recipe
Here’s our favourite basic sloe gin recipe – adapted from the River Cottage recipe:
- 280g washed, ripe sloes (remove any bruised fruits)
- 140g caster sugar
- 600ml decent quality gin
Sloe gin method
Put the sloes in a sterilised 1-litre jar, pour over the sugar and shake, which will allow the fruit juice to dissolve the sugar. Once it’s dissolved, add the gin, close the lid and store the jar in a cool, dark cupboard, shaking once a day for at least 2 months or up to 6 months.
Strain out the sloes using a muslin cloth in a funnel which will drip the gin into a bottle without a drop getting wasted! See below for an idea on how to use the drunken sloes…
Taste the gin, and add sugar syrup to adjust to your level of sweetness. Seal, add a pretty label (of course!) and store in a dark cupboard until you’re ready for a tipple!
Sloe gin ideas
Now’s the time to get creative – there’s more than one way to drink sloe gin…
- Sloe gin fizz – one measure each of sloe, straight gin and lime juice. Add sugar syrup to taste and pour over ice, topping up with soda.
- Keep the sozzled sloes in a sterilised jar and spoon them over vanilla icecream
- … Or why not dip them in chocolate?
- Add prosecco and one of the sloes for a pretty pink fizz
- Stir in a measure to the roasting juices from duck, goose, pheasant (anything gamey) to add a warming sweetness
- Splash a few drops into a crumble, with some flaked almonds in the crumble mix
- Perk up an almond and plum cake by drizzling the gin over whilst cooling
>> Got any other good ideas on how to use sloe gin? We’d love to hear them!
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