If you’re lucky enough to have a blackthorn bush (or sloe bush) in your garden why not try our Sloe Gin Recipe in autumn when the branches are heaving with lots of little sloe berries. If not, they are great for foraging from blackthorn hedgerows around the UK.
Avoid picking fruit from bushes near busy roadsides or a lot of pollution and be mindful that the thickets can contain many thorns.
It’s always best to use a higher quality gin for this recipe as the sloes will highlight the quality of the gin when finished.
How to make Sloe Gin
- 500g ripe sloes
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 litre high quality gin
- Start by rinsing your sloe berries and removing any leaves or twigs still attached. Pat dry with a clean towel.
- Next you can either prick the sloes with a fork or put in the freezer overnight and allow them to defrost completely.
- Once step 2 is complete, add the sloe berries to a large, sterilised glass jar that can be sealed tight. Add the sugar and gin over the berries and make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Store the jar in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight (dark cupboards are the best place.)
- Take the jar out every day for the first 7 days, giving it a good shake to mix up the contents. Then leave to rest for 2-3 months.
- After 3 months, the gin will be ready to strain. Place a muslin cloth in a sieve and pour the contents of the jar over to separate the solids from the liquids.
- Once strained, it’s time to bottle up! Pour into sterilised glass bottles, seal tightly and label.
You can drink the sloe gin straight away, however, it betters with age and will mature around 1 year down the line. With this in mind, it’s a great idea to create yearly batches to consume the following year (or even leave even longer for the fantastic flavour that comes with age).
Send a Sloe Bush as a Gift
For a friend or family member who loves sloe gin, send them their very own sloe bush gift. A unique gift alternative that will last for many years to come and once their sloe bush starts to mature and grow berries, they will have a lifetime supply of sloe berries at their fingertips.