Sloes are not just for gin. Although sloe gin is one of my favourite drinks and picking sloes and making it is a yearly ritual. Every time I pick sloes I do wonder who persevered and found ways of making these bitter tannic berries edible. And I am grateful.
Sloe syrup is a quick win, very easy to make and can be added to wine or champagne making a hedgerow Kir, or to cakes and to flavour ice cream.
It’s a great idea to identify the white blossom in spring, and make a note of where the trees are for harvest in autumn.
Preserving Sloe Syrup
Update August 2020 – I’ve had several questions about preserving sloe syrup and I think (but haven’t tested) the best way would be to use a Campden tablet to stop and fermentation or mould growth.
You need to crush, dissolve the tablet and then add to each bottle. See my Elderflower Cordial post for full details of how to use Campden tablets.
Sloe Syrup - Harvesting the Blackthorn
Equal quantities of:
- 450 g sugar
- 1 L sloes
- 1 L water
- Simply place all the ingredients into a saucepan and gently simmer for about 40 minutes until the sloes have burst and you have a beautiful deep purple syrup.
- Pass through a metal sieve and then strain again through a cheese cloth. Keep in the fridge and use within a week, or freeze.