Sloes are usually best picked after the first frosts, but depending on where you are you may be able to pick them from late August until late October. This gives enough soaking time for the gin to be ready by Christmas!
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 8-10 weeks soaking
- Sloes, washed
- Gin (or vodka if you prefer)
- Caster sugar
Prick the sloes all over with a clean needle – alternatively, freeze in a bag overnight to let the skins split (this is necessary to let the fruit and alcohol infuse).
Place the sloes in a large sterilised jar. For each 450 g sloes, mix together 225g caster sugar and 1 Litre of gin (or vodka). Pour the sugar-alcohol mixture over the fruit and seal jar(s). Shake well.
Leave to infuse for 8-10 weeks. Shake/turn the jar every other day for 1 week and thereafter once a week. Once it has infused, strain into sterilised bottles. The leftover sloes are delicious covered in chocolate or added to stews or desserts for extra flavour.
Recipe source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sloegin_7722