Making homemade sloe gin this Christmas

There is something quite meaningful about making homemade goods to enjoy over Christmas with the family.

At Christmas we are all guilty of enjoying a tipple or two and if you are like us there is always a bottle of gin open and on the go.

For those who went out and harvested sloes this autumn, why not give someone that you love a truly special gift, a bottle of homemade sloe gin.

Homemade sloe gin
PREP TIME 5 minutes COOK TIME 9 weeks MAKES 1 bottle
    Ingredients:
  • 500g dried sloes
  • 250g of caster sugar
  • 250ml of bottled spring water
  • 1 litre of gin
  • Equipment:
  • 2.27 litre pickled jar with a twist off lid
  • 2 x 500ml oval glass sloe gin or a costalata bottle

Preparation method

  1. Leave the dried sloes in warm water for several hours, just enough for them to hydrate and plump out. Keep the left over residual water.
  2. Prick the skins of the sloes to allow the juices and enzymes to be easily released.
  3. In a sterilised jar, place the sloes in the spring water before adding the caster sugar and gin.
  4. Seal the jar tightly and shake well.
  5. Store the jar in a cool and dark environment and shake every other day for a week before reducing to once a week for two months.
  6. You know when the gin is ready to drink when it has turned a dark shade of red.
  7. Pour the ready to drink sloe gin into the costalata bottles and voila you have a thoughtful and delicious gift for someone you love.
  8. For those who enjoy their homemade gin and are wanting to create a more intense flavour, by adding a few coffee beans or cinnamon sticks while you soak the sloes in the gin, you can create a wonderfully festive flavour.