Make your own sloe gin with our fab recipe – it's so easy to make with the fruit in season and is a great gift, which should be ready in time for Christmas
- 450g (1lb) sloes
- 450g (1lb) caster or granulated sugar
- 750ml bottle gin
- small handful whole skin-on almonds (optional)
- a large sterilised glass jar with a screw-top lid
1) The fruit pulp that is left behind after straining is great stuffed into the cavity of a duck or pheasant before roasting. 2) Add a good slug of sloe gin to a plum or blackberry and apple crumble, fruit jellies or add to whipped cream to pile on meringues with a winter fruit compote.
Place the sloes in the freezer overnight for the skins to split or prick each sloe with a needle, you want the juice to bleed into the gin for the maximum flavour and colour. Place the sloes in the sterilised jar, add the sugar and top up with the gin. Add the almonds if desired.
Agitate the jar gently to help dissolve the sugar and continue daily until all the sugar has dissolved. Place the jar in a cool, dark cupboard for a minimum of six months – but preferably a year or two.
Sample the sloe gin after 3 months to see whether you wish to add more sugar. When ready to drink, strain the liquor through muslin and decant into sterilised bottles and label. Serve chilled in small glasses.