Sloe Gin

I enjoy a tipple or two of sloe gin and thought i’d try my hand at making it. @spbail had previously found sloes in Manchester and I followed her footsteps. See Sam’s blog post at http://mightaswell.co.uk/blog/1218.

Strangely, for the second weekend running, we came across a cockerel on Kings Road while waiting for the bus to Chorlton. He’s not shy!

Cockerel escaped

Apple tree in Chorlton Water Park
Apple tree in Chorlton Water Park

We started at the entrance near Beech Road, 5 minutes into the walk we came across an apple tree and picked up the fallen fruit.

Foraged Apples

It took us a while to find the sloes, partly as we were so rubbish at identifying them – the game-changer was looking up the leaf on my iPhone. We managed to bag 500g, which is the perfect quantity for http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/oct/12/how-to-make-sloe-gin and the Wild Cook blog.

Sloes
Sloes in Chorlton Water Park

Sipsmith actually suggest to add a syrup much later in the process (3 months in), which makes sense when trying to balance the sweetness: http://www.sipsmith.com/blog/articles/how-to-make-the-perfect-sloe-gin And suggests using good gin, I used Juniper Green Organic Gin, which can be bought at Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton or Booths.

Ingredients

500 g Sloes
275 g Golden Caster Sugar
1 litre Gin
1 clove per bottle

Wash and dry the sloes (and look out for spiders). Get a 1.5 litre Kilner jar, add the sloes, then the sugar, then the gin and clove (optional). Close, and turn every few days until the sugar has dissolved. Store in a dark cupboard / out of sunlight, after about three months strain out the sloes through muslin, bottle, store in a dark cupboard. John Wright at River Cottage suggests the longer you leave it, the better it tastes.

Sloe Gin brewing for 3 months

 

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