- 450g/1lb sloes
- 225g/8oz white or brown sugar
- 1 litre/1¾ pint gin
- The ususal method is to prick the skin of the sloes all over with a clean needle and put in a large sterilised jar. Actually, it’s easier to wash them thoroughly and pop them in the freezer where the skins will split quite naturally. Much better than pricked fingers covered by juice that stains for days on end. Alternatively, you could just pour (or drink!) half a bottle or litre of gin and pack the remaining half with sloes.
- Pour in the sugar and the gin, seal tightly and shake well.
- Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week. Then shake once a week for two months.
- The sloe gin will now be a beautiful dark red and ready to drink, although it will still improve with keeping.
- Variation: make blackberry brandy in the same way, substituting blackberries for the sloes and brandy for the gin. Blackberries don’t need pricking as they split easily anyway.
Using brown sugar will give the sloe gin a more syrupy consistency and, I think, compliments the fruit beautifully.