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How to Make the Best Ever Sloe Gin!

Updated on April 10, 2016

So what is Sloe Gin?

It's Sloes ( a kind of wild berry) steeped in Gin for several months with sugar added. Many recipes say you should leave it a year but my family & friends can never wait that long. I now keep several on the go so we never run out and at least one gets left for a year and can be entered in the local show.

It's so easy to make!

There is a bog standard basic recipe that I continue to use.

You can alter it, add ingredients, make it your own recipe and share it with friends!

Easy to make - Easy to drink!



Finding Sloes

Sloe Gin makers rarely reveal the place they pick from, in order to protect their supply.

Most farmers have planted 'mixed British Hedgerow' bushes to form their hedges.

Sloes are commonly known in the UK as Blackthorn, (Latin name: Prunus spinosa)

It produces small green berries that ripen into (still small) dark purple berries that may develop a light blue 'bloom' on their surface.

The bushes are very thorny so be careful!

Entries & winners at my local Country Agricultural Show

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5 stars from 1 rating of Sloe Gin
Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 1 litre Sloe Gin
  • 450-500g Sloes, Rinse & Freeze
  • 400-450g Granulated sugar, Cheapest is fine
  • 600ml Gin, any will do!
  1. Wash & de-stalk the sloes, discarding any that may have a Sloe maggot inside (soak sloes in sink and the pink maggot will emerge after a while looking for air. Wash it away). Freeze sloes or prick over with cocktail stick to puncture the skin. Freezing is better as it ruptures all cells so the 'flavour' and colour will be released quicker.
  2. Add all ingredients to a 1 litre sized jar with a good seal. Demi-john; Le parfait or Kilner jars will do. Fasten lid. Invert to start the mix. Sugar will take days to dissolve. Invert every few days for the first 2 weeks to help sugar dissolve.
  3. Leave for around 8 months. Hard to do but necessary. Flavour is better with length of time left. Taste. If too tart, add sugar to taste. Remember not to make it too sweet or it tastes like cough mixture!

Damson Gin?

Well if you fancy something a little different, then repeat the above but with Damsons instead, the stones are left in the fruit to give it an almond flavour.

Once matured for 12 months, decant the delicious nectar but reserve the fruit for a special grown ups ice cream & alcoholic fruit desert.

Watch the stones though. The picky folk amongst us will pick them out before serving if they have oodles of time, otherwise just enjoy!

You could even try a Basque variation on this called PATXARANA (patcharana phonetically). It has an aniseed alcohol base mixed with the sloes!

Please Drink Sensibly.

Its tastes sweet like a soft drink but will make your legs fail to work.

© 2014 hawley


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