Prep 20 mins
Cook 2160 hrs
A very nice drink for the winter months, guaranteed to bring an astringent cheer to a gloomy evening :-) Sloes are the berries of the blackthorn, and are pretty inedible in their natural state - this method transforms them! Note that the quantities of sugar and gin depend entirely on how many sloes you pick and how big a jar you put them in. Zaar has forced me to specify a number of servings, so I have nominated 20-30, but that is a total guess, I'm afraid! Your yield will depend on the amount of each ingredient that you actually put in, and the number of servings will depend on how generous you are when you serve gin :-).
- 1 pint sloes
- 2 ounces white sugar
- 2 pints gin (the amount you need depends on the size of jar you use to make the sloe gin)
- Pick your sloes, wash them, then prick them all over with a pin.
- Put the sloes into a large, clean jar with a tight-fitting lid (such as a Kilner jar); they should roughly half-fill the jar.
- Add 2 oz of sugar (granulated or caster). Shake well to mix.
- Top up the jar with gin (the quantity depends on the size of your jar and the number of sloes, but 2 pints of gin works well). Shake well to mix.
- Seal tightly and leave in a dark place to mature for a minimum of three months - but fifteen months is much, much better. For the first few weeks, shake every few days - after that, shake when you remember about it.
- When ready, strain off the lovely, purply liqueur into clean bottles and seal. Discard the sloes (although it's worth biting into one before you do so, just to remind yourself why you have to make gin out of them and can't just eat them!).
- Enjoy in small glasses, while sitting round the fireside reading Dickens!