Yup, today I started off my sloe gin. We picked the sloes a couple of days ago (don’t you like the lovely basket my brother made for me from willow that he grew himself!) and because we have had no frost and sitting pricking them all with a pin might be tooooo boring, i popped them in the freezer for a couple of days to break the skin a little.
None of the recipes I have come across are too specific, I suppose it depends on how many sloes you can pick and how much gin you can afford! So I had 2 1/2 lb sloes and 1 litre of gin (excuse me mixing my metric and imperial). So I batched this into 2 halves and put sloes and gin into 2 thermos flasks – a tip from my friend Susan – saves trying to ‘post’ sloes into narrow bottle openings! To this (when I have been to the shop!) I will add some where between 5 and 10 oz sugar per flask (again depending on what you read) – so I was reckoning on 8oz each. A couple of places also recommed almond essence, but i don’t have any and I don’t think peppermint or cochineal will suffice! After that its very simple – shake it everyday for 2 weeks, or shake it occasionally, or shake it every day until thesugar has dissolved (or don’t shake it at all!). But everyone seems to agree that it then needs to be left alone or an indeterminate time from 2 months (at the very minimum) to a year or so.
I’ll let you know what it tates like at Christmas – that’s nearly 2 months!