Recipe & Gift Idea — Homemade Sloe Gin

It’s that time of the year again where the dreaded words "holly", "turkey", and "presents" are starting to make an appearance.

Unless you fall under the age of adolescence, this time of the year can become a little bit of a drag – full of worry, stress, and copious amounts of wrapping paper – no wonder we swear by the words, "Eat, drink, and be merry!" during this season!

Sloe gin has made a huge comeback over recent years. It’s extremely easy to make and it can taste out-of-this-world if left to steep for long enough. Taking the steps to make your very own sloe gin requires minimal effort for maximum reward.

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 Small bottles of homemade sloe gin tied with a little ribbon make the cutest gifts, and the act of making it will help you get into the spirit without the stress of the high streets. We guarantee it’ll soon become an annual ritual.

This autumn we took time out of our daily grind and headed up onto Dartmoor to start picking our wild sloes. With the fresh, crisp air and those beautiful moorland colours, autumn is the perfect time for picking sloes; they're at their ripest and are fairly easier to find.

Foraging for sloes in autumn also allows you enough time for the alcohol to soak up their beautiful flavour, not to mention that gorgeous berry red colour to get you in the mood for the Christmas season.

For storage, we like to use Kilner Jars – they’re the prefect size, are easy to pour and, of course, they’re air tight making them perfect for batch production for all your friends and family! 

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Ingredients

  • 280g ripe sloes, washed
  • 140g sugar
  • 600ml of gin
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Method

  1. Put the sloes in a 1 litre Kilner jar, pour over the sugar and the gin. Close the lid and shake.
  2. Store the jar preferably in a dark cupboard, shaking once every day until sugar has all dissolved.
  3. Depending on the preference, between 2- 6 months strain out the sloes, using a muslin-lined funnel placed in a bottle. We used our Kilner bottles.

Tip: If your gin looks slightly cloudy, filter out the offending particles using filter paper in a funnel.

Abby Millar