How to: Make Sloe Gin

All across the country, hedgerows are brimming with the fruit of the blackthorn bush, sloes. Straight from the bush they’re incredibly sour, but here’s how you can turn those little fruits into a delicious winter tipple. It can be used to add a sweet note to cocktails, for jazzing up your trifle or simply sipped straight from ice-cold glasses. It also makes a great Christmas present – when your batch is ready, use it to fill personalised bottles and give to your friends and family. 

You will need:

  • Sloe gin kit from Dobbies - available in-store
  • 500g/1lb of sloes
  • 250g/9oz sugar
  • 70cl of good quality gin
  • 1 sealable jar

1. Freeze the sloes overnight - or if you don't have time to freeze them, prick each fruit a couple of times with a sharp needle.

2. Put the sloes into a clean, airtight jar. You'll need something that holds at least 1.5 litres.

3. Add your sugar to the jar before pouring in the gin.

4. Seal the jar, then give it a shake to mix up all the ingredients.

5. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place, but take it out once a day for another shake until all the sugar has dissolved. This should take a week or so.

6. Leave your jar in the dark for at least 3 months - the longer you allow the mixture to infuse, the deeper the flavour will become.

7. When you simply can't wait any longer, filter the contents of your jar through some muslin into sterilised bottles.

8. Your delicious gin is ready to drink. Cheers!