Making sloe gin for the first time this week, with the sloes I picked a few weeks ago, conjured up memories of making elderflower cordial for the first time: no two sloe gin recipes are the same. The quantity of sugar to sloes recommended varies from equal measures to half measures to none depending on who you ask. I chose half measures of sugar to sloes calculating this would be the best combination for filling the gap between the berries and booze in my enormous 1.7ltr cognac bottle (no, I’m not a booze hound – I fished it out of my neighbours un-lidded recycling box!)
Bottle 1 ingredients
650g sloes + 325g sugar + 850ml gin (in a 1.7l bottle)
Bottle 2 ingredients
200g sloes + a vanilla pod + 150ml (in a 375ml bottle)
This article recommended using a vanilla pod instead of sugar to miraculously sweeten the sour sloes and produce a less syrupy liquer. I’d bought a small bottle of gin as well for gifting when the time comes to decant it and liked the idea of experimenting with a sugar free variety of sloe gin.
Bottle 3 ingredients
200g frozen raspberries + vanilla pod + 125ml gin (in a 250ml bottle)
I had no use for the last 125ml of gin so poked around in the freezer to see what other fruit could be used to replace the sloes. My stoned damsons would have worked really well but I was quite taken by the idea of a raspberry red tipple.And just 4 days later this is how they’re looking.note to self: made on 10/11/09. Freezing sloes is supposed to help the skins to burst but most of the berries are still intact despite vigorous shaking. Patient pricking instead of freezing next year then? And keep some gin aside for topping up bottles once the gin/fruit/sugar settles.