MAKING SPICED SLOE GIN September 30 2018
In the autumn I love to pick plump, purple sloes (Prunus spinosa) from the hedgerows & make aromatic spiced sloe gin. I make it during September & October & leave it to steep so that it’ll be ready in time for Christmas - decanted into pretty glass bottles it makes a gorgeous festive gift for family & friends. I’ve tried & tested many recipes & to date this is my favourite. I add pink peppercorns & cinnamon sticks for a delicious hint of spice - a perfect winter warmer to sip on the long dark nights ahead.
If you’d like to give it a try, here’s the recipe & method:
You will need: 500g sloes, 250g sugar, 1 litre gin, 1tbs pink peppercorns, half a cinnamon stick, 2 litre kilner jar
- Carefully rinse the sloes, pat them dry & freeze for 24 hours
- Put the sloes, sugar, peppercorns, cinnamon & gin into the jar
- Leave to steep in a cool dark place for around 3 months, gently shaking the jar every few days
- When it’s ready, strain the gin though a clean muslin cloth & decant into sterilized bottles
- The gin will keep for years & the longer you leave it the better it will get
- If you don’t have sloes to hand, damsons or blackberries also work brilliantly
This spiced sloe gin is delicious served neat with a bowl of tangerines & nuts to nibble on - ideally on a cold winters night next to a roaring fire!
I adore the traditions & processes of pickling & preserving & I love to watch the alchemy of the deep rich red-purple pigment of the sloes seep out into the clear gin. So for the first few days after making, I keep it on the worktop in my kitchen to admire - before tucking it into the cupboard under my stairs to let time work its magic.
My passion for pickling & preserving fresh fruits & vegetables is the inspiration for my ‘Pickles & Preserves’ gouache painting which is part of my Vintage Kitchen Collection. This design makes a lovely gift for a foodie friend (or for the kitchen) & is available to buy online as signed art prints & greeting cards from:
That’s all for this month.
Thank you for reading.