Sassy Sloe Gin
There is nothing more perfect on a winter night than curling up in front of a fire with a ruby red, fruity, warming, comforting sloe gin. It is even better when you have made it yourself.
A sloe bush
If you are unsure about identifying them look at http://www.theotherandyhamilton.com/2014/10/02/how-to-identify-sloes-make-sloe-gin-etc/
Sloes – picked when they are soft to a squeeze and come off the stalk when you pull them. Avoid hard, green sloes. Pick enough to half fill two Kilner jars (Or more if you want to make a big batch)
Gin – own brand gin from any good supermarket will be fine
A few almonds
Pick any little stalks or leaves from your sloes, put in a bag and freeze over-night. (As sloes are so early this year, they have not had the benefit of frost which makes them juicy – so you have to improvise your frost!).
Defrost and prick every sloe berry at least six times with a sharp tipped knife (Old recipes say a silver needle but they are not in every kitchen drawer).
Fill each Kilner jar to half full with the berries.
Add 4 tablespoons of white sugar to each jar and shake to coat the sloe berries.
Leave a few hours for the sugar to start drawing the colour and juice (I often leave overnight).
Fill the jar with gin and add two almonds.
Shake every week for at least three months. The end product should be deep red in colour and have a deep, rich taste of berries.
When ready, taste and add sugar to make the sweetness you like. Sugar does bring out the berry flavour. Add one dessert spoon at a time and taste (be careful – it is strong).
Decant into a screw top bottle, label and hide it away from roaming gin-soaks (they will drink it all!).
Just five ideas:
Find a log fire, a good book, a small glass, pour and enjoy
Make a martini with sloe gin
Make a sloe negroni – you will never go back to plain negroni
Make into a long drink with a good quality tonic such as Fever-Tree or Schweppes
Pour a little over ice-cream