After a bumper harvest we have been producing some excellent sloe gin this year. Here are our seven steps which we believe will always produce good results with little effort and preparation time.
To recreate our recipe just follow these seven basic steps:
1. Get out in the countryside and pick some sloes (alternatively these can be sourced online). We picked some enormous specimens from the Norfolk countryside and it is a great excuse to get yourself outdoors. Make sure the sloes are ripe, they should be soft like a plum.
2. After a swift quality control for bits of leaves and the odd bug freeze the sloes overnight, this helps to break down the fruits structure and avoids the need for pricking the fruit to help the juices escape. If you have time to prick the sloes this is quite therapeutic and worth the extra effort but it is not essential.
3. Half fill a two litre Kilner jar with sloes.
4. Pour in one litre of gin, in this case we used the rather good Geranium Gin. It makes no sense to use an inferior or cheap gin, your ingredients should always be of the highest quality, to ensure the highest quality product.
5. Leave for 3 months in a dark room (if you can wait that long!) and turn occasionally.
6. To finish top up with sugar syrup to taste, to make this simply dissolve caster sugar in two parts sugar to one part hot water. Gin supremos Sipsmith explain that “by adding the syrup in stages and tasting the gin as you go you will be able to produce the perfect result. Many people add the sugar at the start but this is known to interfere with the extraction of the fruits own natural sugars and the sugar should always be added last”.
7. Pour a glass and enjoy the fruits of your labour in it’s purest form. Pour again and top with Champagne for a wintery Sloegasm.
Rather than using caster sugar as is usually recommended we made one batch with unrefined light brown soft cane sugar brought back from our recent trip to Mauritius. This batch had by far the most pleasing results with the cane sugar producing a much more natural fruit sweetness.