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!
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.
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.
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.
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.