Friday, 21 October 2011

Sloe Business

Sloes on a Blackthorn Bush

Sloes are currently everywhere in the hedgerows. I picked enough to make wine and gin in just half an hour. I wore my cycling gloves to allow faster picking with less pain.
Sloe Wine
It's Difficult to Photograph Wine Making and Make it Look Appealing
The sloes are immersed in boiling water with some raisins and then stirred each day for up to a week. After a couple of days the mixture turns a lovely thick deep red, this reminded me of making elderberry port but it did not require the lengthy boiling.

Especially When It Begins To Ferment
After a suitable period the previously activated yeast is added to the mix. It is then left in a warm place to get on with the process.
Time to Strain into a Demijon

Sloe Gin

There are lots of different recipes for Sloe Gin but the simplicity and cheek of this one (from appealed to me.
1.      Pick your sloes from blackthorn hedges in October or November when they are most ripe - probably after the first frosts.

Blue Black Beauties
2.      Take a litre bottle of gin, and drink half a litre.
Remove the Leaves Before Freezing

3.      Cut or prick the sloes and drop them into the half-empty bottle so that they displace the remaining gin to near the top.

4.      Add one wine goblet of sugar (approx 150g).
More Gin Required

5.       All you have to do now is turn or agitate the bottle daily for a week, then weekly for a month or two ... by which time it will be ready to drink (but it is really best kept until the next winter.
That Looks More Like It

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