When I went on a local foraging walk the other day, I discovered that the two trees on Ham Lands had already been harvested! And last week at Virginia Water there were plenty of chestnuts, but no sloes. (It is a managed woodland.)
As I'm not going to Ireland (where I usually gather sloes) until the first weekend in November I began to feel anxious that they may have all vanished, so decided some pre-emptive action was required. I did something completely new for me, I ordered sloes from ebay!
To make Sloe Gin I use my Mother-in-Law's recipe. She taught me how to make it many years ago, and I know my husband loves the fact that it is her Sloe Gin we drink every winter.
Vanessa published a recipe for sloe gin on her blog here, which gives precise measurements and I'm sure is really super. But I do love the less precise but more interesting recipe that I follow.
My Mother-In-Law's Sloe Gin
Pick your sloes
Prick each sloe with a darning needle (I use a cocktail stick)
Fill an empty gin bottle a third full of sloes
Add a third of a bottle of sugar
Fill the rest of the bottle with gin
Leave to mature, shaking once or twice a week.
And that's it!
So, if like me, you can't find any sloes you can still make sloe gin, just go to ebay. They arrived quickly and seem really sloey.
These will be for Christmas, but as Vanessa started her "Let's make Christmas" with sloe gin, I'll wait and submit something else soon.
|I made 5 bottle of sloe gin today|
|The sloes arrived quickly from a farm in Dorset|
|Beautiful and jewel like|
|I use supermarket gin to make the sloe gin,|
but keep empty bottles to fill
|Prick each sloe with a needle or stick|
|A third of sloes|
|A third of sugar|
|a third of gin|
|I keep the bottles in the kitchen for a few hours|
as they sometimes need to be topped up as the
|Once filled completely I seal the tops of the bottles with|
sticky tape, this stops leaking when they are being shook!