Sloes are the fruit on a blackthorn tree. They are ready for picking when they turn blue, usually in late August/September/October time. You can spot them growing wild in hedgerows on a walk in the countryside. It’s great fun to go on a family walk and forage for sloes. They look like large blueberries but are too bitter to eat. However they can be used to make sloe gin – a gin liqueur made from gin infused with sloes and sugar. If you make sloe gin in September/October it will be ready in around 3 months time – perfect for the grown ups to sample on Christmas Day. If you pour your sloe gin into a nice bottle and make a pretty label it makes a wonderful homemade Christmas present for grandparents.
Here’s our recipe for how to make sloe gin:
Sloe Gin Ingredients:
- Sloe berries
- Brown sugar
- Empty wine bottle with screw lid
- Pretty bottle to package your finished sloe gin and a label. We like this one from DrinkStuff.
How to make Sloe Gin:
- Fill the empty wine bottle with sloes up to where the sides of the bottle start to curve.
- Add half a cup of brown sugar.
- Fill the bottle with gin.
- Screw the bottle cap on.
- Shake the bottle gently to mix the sloes, gin and sugar. Pop it in the cupboard and shake gently every few days to allow the sloes to infuse.
- The sloe gin will be ready in 2-3 months time. Pour the sloe gin into a pretty presentation bottle. It can be served neat as a gin liqueur.