How to: Make Sloe Gin

Thursday, 23 October 2014

I love Sloe Gin.

Literally love it. If it is well made it doesn't have that alcoholic hit of a regular spirit which means you can drink it without making a bleughhh downing vodkaaa face. It just warms you up nicely.

I made some on Tuesday night so I thought I would share with you how you make it.

Here are the things you need: many as you can get your hands on.
A shit load of sugar.

(I will specify a bit more below)

I bought my gin from Lidl and it was pretty cheap £10 for 70cl. I've never been to Lidl before but I was told their gin is the cheapest and apparently the cheaper the gin the better the sloe gin... no idea why!

In regard to my sloes I just picked as many as I could. This is the best thing to do as if you don't use them you can freeze them.

The first thing to do is (which is a process I had already completed in the above picture) stick all your sloes in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer (the night before you want to make your gin).

Then take them out the next morning to defrost.

The reason for doing this is the liquid in the sloes expands when frozen and therefore bursts the skin so that the flavour can infuse in your gin.

By the time you get home from work they should be defrosted and you can move on to the next step.

Sorting through the sloes...

Go through all your sloes (a bit tedious) and pick out any leaves or any stems still attached to the sloes plus any berries which are a bit wrinkly. Like so:

Then you need to wash your sloes.

As you can see I had too many for my sieve!

I actually had over a kilogram!

On a separate note, these scales are by Heston Blumenthal and they are brilliant! You can weight liquid and it tells you how my mls are in the bowl. SO useful.

Next step. You need a big bottle to make your gin in. The problem with making it in the bottles that the gin comes in is you need to empty out about half of the gin to fit the sloes in so then you need to put that in gin in something else. It is best just to have a huge mason jar or something but I didn't have one of those...

So I improvised with a magnum of wine bottle. It worked pretty damn well.

Pour 1litre of gin into your big bottle:
Then drop in about 600g of sloes.

Normally with sloe gin you are meant to prick each sloe 7 times (very specific)... but because of the freezing process you don't need to do this. Although I pricked some of them sporadically if the skins hadn't burst in the freezer. These ones are usually the less ripe ones but it doesn't really matter.

The next step is to add your sugar.

I poured 250g of sugar into my magnum bottle. As you can see from the bottle it is nearly full by the time it has the gin and sloes in.

I recommend a funnel for this process as using a jug (like I did) was very difficult! 

Once it is all in there use a stopper to close it and give it a shake!

I had extra gin left over so I split this between the two regular gin bottles, split the extra sloes between them (so about 300g in each) and poured in a big slug of sugar (I didn't measure it).
I then screwed the lids on those and gave them a good shake too!

Leave the gin in a dark place shaking it occasionally for at least 6 months.

I try to hold out for a year but it is very tricky!!

If you don't want to drink your sloe gin straight you can try out this cocktail which is called a Spitfire Over Kent. My friend Oli introduced me to it and it is SO good!!

I'm not sure of the actual measurements but I make it like this:

2 shots of sloe gin
1 shot of chambord (raspberry liquor)
1 shot of lemon juice
(Oli also adds a bit of maraschino cherry juice and a cherry)

Shake the ingredients together and pour over ice.
If you are lazy
Put some ice in a glass, pour the ingredients in and give it a stir.


It is a "short" drinks so prepare to make many more as they are so easy to drink. Or make up a batch and put it in the fridge ready to pour over ice.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs