Recipe – Sloe Gin
It is about this time of year people start talking about Christmas and one of its traditional drinks – Sloe Gin. Although there are commercial products available, there is nothing like the real thing using local ingredients; also it is dead easy to make.
Locally picked sloes
The cheapest gin available
Go out for a walk and pick plenty of black Sloes (they are the fruit of the very spikey Blackthorn and can be found in all the hedgerows around the village, there is also a good crop at Carter’s Meadow). It is best to pick the ripe ones which are slightly softer.
Wash the Sloes and freeze them whole on a tray
Half fill a screw top bottle with gin (old wine or spirit bottles are the easiest, it is easier to start with at least two bottles)
Add about six ounces (170g) of caster sugar to the bottle (if the bottle is larger add some extra sugar – this is not rocket science)
Then fill the bottle with the frozen Sloes until the gin reaches the top of the neck – you’ll be surprised how many Sloes you’ll need.
Put the top on the bottle and turn it every day until the sugar has all dissolved.
Then store the bottle but remember to turn it once a month.
About a week before Christmas empty the bottle contents, sieving out the Sloes. The liquor is now ready for drinking, a little extra sugar can be added if required.
Sloe gin can be drunk on its own or with tonic water as a longer drink.