A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA
Don’t bin the fruit once you’ve made your gin – it will be perfect to make chocolate liqueurs for Christmas.
All you need to do is cut and stone the sloes and dip them into premium melted chocolate. Rob tells me the liqueur chocolates will make a superb unusual Christmas gift if you’re unwilling to part with your gin. Now you’re talking!
HOW TO MAKE SLOE GIN
1 litre bottle of gin (or vodka if that’s your preferred tipple)
Two 1-litre glass jars
Pick your sloes from blackthorn hedges in October and November when they are most ripe.
It’s best to get them after the first frosts but if you catch them early you could always freeze them at home.
Take a litre bottle of gin and divide between two one-litre glass jars or bottles so that each contains half a litre.
Add 150g of sugar to each bottle.
Prick the sloes and drop them into the half-empty bottles so that they displace the remaining gin to near the top. Alternatively – if you freeze the sloes at home you can put the frozen berries into the gin straight from the freezer and the skins will crack of their own accord.
If you like you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon to give it a winter flavour.
All there is left to do is to agitate the bottle daily for one week ... give it a good shake each day.
After the first week, shake the bottle weekly for a month or two, by which time it will be ready to sieve and drink, although it will be at its best the following winter, so you could save one bottle for next year.