sloe gin

nothin’ like a bit of foraging to while away the blues.. thought I’d give this a go (even tho I’m not too crazy about gin)

SLOE GIN RECIPE from The Cottage Smallholder


1lb/454gm of washed sloes

4 ozs/112gm of white granulated sugar

75cl bottle of medium quality gin

Sterilised 1 litre (at least) Le Parfait jar or wide necked bottle


    • Wash sloes well and discard any bruised or rotten fruit. Prick fruit several times with a fork and place sloes in either a large Kilner/Le Parfait jar or a wide necked 1 litre bottle. I put several sloes in my palm to prick them rather than picking them up one by one.
    • Using a funnel, add the sugar and top up with gin to the rim. Always open sugar bags over the sink as sugar tends to get caught in the folds at the top of the bag.
    • Add the almond essence.
    • Shake every day until the sugar is dissolved and then store in a cool, dark place until you can resist it no longer (leave for at least three months, we usually let it mature for a year).
    • Some people strain the grog (through muslin/jelly bag) after 3 months and bottle it, leaving it mature for six months. We strain and bottle after a year. Don’t leave the straining process any longer than a year; leaving the fruit in too long can spoil the liqueur.

    Tips and tricks:

    • Make more than you need the first year, so you can compare different vintages. This liqueur does improve over time.
    • Some people drain the grog through muslin after a couple of months, to clarify the liqueur and bottle. We don’t bother as one old soak tipped that, once the gin is drunk, you can pour medium sherry on the fruit and start all over again! The latter is devilish and drinkable within three months. We have a recipe for this in our wine and gin section.
    • Keep your fruit gin away from the light as this will maintain the colour. Unless it is in a dark green or brown bottle. Wrapping it in brown parcel paper will keep out the light

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