a curious cook

sloe gin

Sloe gin sleedoorns sloe berry Sloe gin

Sloe gin is made with the sloe berry. The sloe berry is not really a berry but a little wild plum. It is the fruit of the blackthorn: a shrub-like tree that you often find in the hedgerows between fields in the English countryside. Blackthorns were traditionally planted in hedges because the thorny branches were a good barrier for cattle.

Place your berries In the in the freezer for 1-2 nights before using them. This makes the berries a little less tart and makes their skins burst to release their juices.
Sloe gin is always made with sugar. Rock candy is the best type of sugar for this gin. The large pieces dissolve slowly and make the taste of the berries come out even better. Sloe gin takes on a beautiful deep red color. In Spain they make the spiced liqueur paxtaran from the berries and combine them with aniseed, cinnamon and coffee beans. Find the recipe (and many more berry recipes) in my Dutch book Dosia plukt bessen.

sloe gin

for 1 liter

500 g blackthorn berries
± 200 g (rock) sugar
1 liter of gin

Leave the berries in the freezer for 1-2 nights. Place the berries into a a thoroughly cleaned and sterilized preserving jar with the sugar, pour over the gin and leave for 2-3 months in a dark, cool spot. Shake the jar every now and then. The longer you wait, the better you sloe gin will taste. Strain the drink through a coffee filter or muslin cloth and pour in a well-cleaned and sterilized bottle. Leave to mellow and ripen in a dark, cool spot for another 3-6 weeks. Your sloe gin will keep for a few years, but after about 2 years the taste and colour will fade.

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