So, about a month earlier than normal, I get down to making the sloe gin. It’s a maceration and easy as anything, especially if you freeze the sloes first. The books say this is to mimic the frost and breakdown the skins – that may or may not be true, but what IS true (and convenient) is they can hang out on ice whilst you faff around finding some gin, jars, and all the rest of it.
500g sloes, frozen if you like, or fresh. Just make sure they are clean, with no bugs, rot, leaves or stalk.
1litre gin (or vodka)
Just put the lot in a clean jar and stir around a bit. Ta da, that’s it! Leave for a few months, as little as three or as long as six. For the first week or so you’ll need to shake the jar every day to help dissolve the sugar. Apparently the longer you leave it, the more likely you are to get notes of almond into your gin from the sloe kernel.
Then strain (chuck the sloes, they are disgusting) and bottle. The longer you leave it in the bottle before drinking, the better it is. I’m not talking months, I’m talking years.