(plus a tip on how to reuse your sloes to an extra boozy delight!)

Ok, so I probably should have started making my sloe gin a few weeks ago, but as per usual I’m late.

We picked our sloes just down the lane from our house last month (October) when the bushes were full of those beautiful ripe blue berries. We then promptly put them in the freezer and forgot about them.

(Years ago, many hours would be spent laboriously pricking the berries all over, until one clever spark thought to use frozen berries which rupture when mixed with alcohol – saving you a lot of pricking!)

Make sure to keep hold of your berries after you’ve used them for sloe gin for an extra boozy delight!

Things you’ll need:

  • 500g sloes
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 1L gin
  • Large Kilner jar/wide neck jar
  • Muslin/tea towel

What to do:

Tip your frozen sloes into a kilner jar or wide neck jar. There’re many recipes that tell you to put in the sugar at a later date, not me. Tip that sugar in! In goes the gin too (I like to use Aldi’s own). 

Now the fun part – shake it like a polaroid picture! Continue to shake it when you remember to for the next few months, to help I like to put it at eye level in my pantry, but ideally stick it somewhere cool and dark.

When it’s ready, get a clean muslin or tightly woven tea towel and strain, but don’t throw those gin infused little berries away, you can reuse those (see below)!

Use a funnel and pour the gin into your sterilised glass bottles. 

Ideal for shoot day swigging or label up with a brown tag and some twine for the perfect homemade gift for Christmas – if you can bare to part with it!

Remember those gin-soaked sloes? Want to know how to use them again to make Sloe Port Liqueur?

What you’ll need:

  • Leftover sloes
  • 750ml bottle of red wine
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200ml brandy

What to do:

Tip the leftover sloes, sugar and wine into a kilner jar. 

Seal and shake daily (again, when you remember!) for 6-8 weeks.

Keep in a cool, dark place.

Taste and add more sugar if you think necessary. 

Strain through some muslin or a tightly woven, clean tea towel. 

Discard the sloes – they’ve done all their work now!

Add the brandy to the red wine and mix. 

Pour into clean, sterilised bottles.

Bring out for the perfect winter warmer or digestif.

(Disclaimer: my boyfriend fell asleep on a wooden kitchen chair after drinking sloe port liqueur… delicious but lethal)

As always, The Country Girls UK always ask that you drink responsibly… https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/

Written by Charlotte Handley x