Making sloe gin for Christmas

Pricking the sloes
Pricking the sloes

According to the sloe forum (strapline, there’s no biz like!), the August fruits from the blackthorn bush are too early for picking to make the traditional gin drink.

But, having been presented with a carrier bag of the little black beauties, along with a handy bottle of mother’s ruin and a bag of sugar this week (thanks mum) it would seem foolish not to give it a go.

So today saw my first attempt at ‘making’ sloe gin. It all appears to be straightforward enough.

1. Wash and prick all the sloes with a fork.

2. Half fill a container (mine was 1.5 litres) with the sloes.

3. Add a wine glass of sugar.

4. Fill container with gin (this made a delicious gurgurly glugging sound as the liquid filtered through the fruits).

Sloe gin: Day 1
Sloe gin: Day 1

The mix has since settled into layers of a, sugar and fruit, b. fruit and c. gin which will gradually meld together over the coming weeks.

The experience left me with with black-stained hands and a vague whiff of the distillery about me. In fact, for the first time in my life I feel like a true Daily Mail housewife!

Now all that remains to be done is to ‘agitate’ the mix every week.

Having only ever tasted sloe gin once before (a lingering memory of delight) I shall be relying on my Christmas dinner guests to pass judgement. In the meantime, any tips to ensure it’s success most welcome.