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Hello, today I have a visual step-by-step guide and recipe on how I made my first batch of Sloe Gin this year. The beauty of making one’s own Sloe Gin is in the slow process of ‘steeping’ (infusing)  Sloes in delicious Gin.

October is a great time for picking sloes if you know where to find them. The concoction of sloes, sugar and gin need plenty of time to commune with one another in order for them to mature into a full bodied liquor. My Sloe Gin should be sumptuous just in time for December’s festivities.

Luckily, we have lots of Blackthorn growing on the back avenue in the hedgerows. Blackthorn produces the bluish-black fruit (sloes) as you can see from the picture below.

Picking Sloes from the Hedgerows
Picking Sloes from the Hedgerows
Blackberry picking as well as searching for hidden Sloes...
I found some ripe Blackberries that where too good to miss!
Sloe hunting with Friends!
Sloe hunting with Friends!
Once I had picked all the Sloes I could find, I popped them in the freezer for 48hours... This helps break up the skin of the fruit. Some people prefer to use a pin to pierce each sloe's skin allowing the Sloes to infuse more easily with the Gin
Once I had picked all the Sloes I could find, I popped them in the freezer for 48hours… This helps break up the skin of the fruit. Some people prefer to use a pin to pierce each sloe all over. Both methods help the Sloes to infuse more easily with the Gin.
Sloes from the freezer
Sloes from the freezer
Use a large glass bottle and put in the oven on a low heat for about 20-30mins. This sterilises the bottle for you. Once you have done that, fill half the bottle with the sloes.
Use a large glass bottle and put in the oven on a low heat for about 20-30mins. This sterilises the bottle for you. Once you have done that, fill half the bottle with the sloes.
Here, I am adding about three tablespoons of caster sugar into the bottle with the sloes
Here, I am adding about three tablespoons of caster sugar into the bottle with the sloes
Sugar coated sloes!
Sugar coated sloes!
After adding the Sugar you can grab a bottle of your favorite Gin and fill the sloe bottle to the top...
After adding the Sugar you can grab a bottle of your favorite Gin and fill the sloe bottle to the top…
Bottle with the Gin, Sloes and Sugar... Now for the fun part!
Bottle with the Gin, Sloes and Sugar… Now for the fun part!
Turn the bottle (with the lid securely on) from an upright position to an upside-down for at least 30 seconds.
Turn the bottle (with the lid securely on) from an upright position to an upside-down for at least 30 seconds.

Upside down

I loved watching the Sugar whirl around the sloes… To me there seemed to be something very Festive about it.

All I have to do now is lay my bottle of sloe gin in a cool, dark cupboard and remember to turn it every day. The colour from the sloes seeps out  as a pinky-red hue. All I have to do now is be patient for the next two months!

 

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  1. Abi

    Looks good Annie! I remember drinking sloe gin, made by Richard(?), for the first time in Norfolk at New Year and thinking it was my new favourite drink xx

    1. Annie

      Hello abi, I do remember! All my posts seem to stem from my childhood. If you end up in ireland for new year we will name my sloe gin and drink haha see you very soon xxxxxx

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