As we wave goodbye to summer and the dark nights draw in, it’s time to take a slower pace of life and enjoy the delights that autumn brings. We’re a massive fan of Sloe Gin and believe you’ll enjoy a cosy night in next to a burning fire with a glass of our favorite berries just as much as us!
Sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn and are one of the last fruits to remain on the trees before the winter draws in. Sloes look very attractive on the blackthorn and cluster together around the branches like bunches of grapes, unfortunately the taste of the fruit doesn’t match its attractive appearance, as they are incredibly sour. Many believe that you should wait until the first frost to pick sloes, but generally they are best from around September, following a bout of cold weather and autumn showers. However this year is a little different, due to our very mild winter last year, followed by a warm spring and those summer showers, sloes have started to appear earlier, much to our enjoyment. Our weird and wonderful weather has tricked the sloes in to thinking its autumn already and that frosts are on their way, so a bumper crop has grown ahead of schedule.
Sloes and gin are a match made in heaven, so try your hand at creating your own by storing the sloes in a jar with white sugar and gin. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for a few months and shake the bottle every few days. By the time Christmas comes around you’ll have a gorgeous dark liqueur which can be drank neat or with tonic. Make your own this autumn with this easy recipe – well you’ve got to make the most of this bumper crop haven’t you?!
500g ripe sloes
1 liter of gin
To prepare the sloes before bottling you can prick each one with a pin or a great tip we have picked up is put the sloes in the freezer as this will break down their structure so no need to spend hours pricking them.
Put the sloes in to a large preserving jar and pour over the sugar and the gin.
Seal the jar and shake.
Shake the jar every day until the sugar has dissolved.
Store in a dark cupboard and after about three months strain out the sloes through muslin.
Pour the gin into a sloe gin bottle.
Your sloe gin will now be perfectly fine for drinking but for an enhanced taste, store the sloe gin in a dark cupboard for as long as possible, even years will be fine.