|Blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa) aka 'Sloe Berry bush'.|
1) Collect your sloe berries just after the first frost of the year. Be careful as it is very spikey Give them a good wash, and let them air dry.
|Sloes, sugar, gin. You will also need a fork, funnel, and large empty bottle.|
3) Prick each sloe with a fork. The best way to do this is to roll the sloe on the points of the fork so it gets pricked 4 or 5 times. An even easier way is to just place them in the freezer and let the cold split the skin. You choose.
|Pricking the sloes and placing them in the bottle|
5) Fill the bottle with sugar until it reaches around half way up the bottle. Use a funnel, or just a rolled up piece of card works fine.
|Adding sugar using a funnel (piece of card)|
|All the ingredients of the sloe gin added and shaken up.|
The photo below shows what your sloe gin will look like after just one week. The sugar is dilluted and the colour has come out of the berries.
|Sloe gin after 1 week of brewing|
Most sloe gin is ready just in time for Christmas, but if you can, leave it until the following year, as this is when it is at its best. All the more reason to make a few bottles!!! When you are ready to drink, just filter the gin using a sieve or a flannel, discard the sloes, and return to the bottle.