An easy, delicious home-made digestif made with foraged hedgerow fruit. This traditional British treat brings warmth to a winter evening and makes a lovely gift. My sloe gin recipe yields one 70 cl bottle, or just under 600ml of sloe gin once decanted.
Pick over the sloes and put them in a clean 70 cl bottle.
Add the sugar.
Top up with the gin.
Screw the lid down tight and give it a good shake.
Keep the bottle in a cool, dark place that is easily accessible and shake every day for the first week or so, until all the sugar is dissolved.
Store in a cool dark place for at least 3 months (ideally at least months to a year) to infuse.
Strain into a jug through a sieve lined with a muslin cloth or jelly bag. Transfer the gin to a clean bottle. The gin may be enjoyed straight away but is best left for another 6 months.
Don't use fancy gins with complicated botanicals or added flavours for this recipe – instead, us a basic gin and allow the sloe flavour to take the starring role.
Three months will do, but steeping the fruit for six months or up to a year is better to maximize the flavour. Ideally, leave it for few months more after rebottling the finished gin.
Sloe gin is delicious in a long summer drink with tonic water and lots of ice – if you have any left, that is.