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Anyone made Sloe Gin this year?

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Never made it before but I found a load of blackthorn while foraging for wild plants for my rabbits in October so I thought why not?

After getting my ID confirmed (only ever seen pics of sloes, never in real life) I picked enough to do a bottle of sloe gin and one of vodka - popped them in the freezer for a few days first before adding to the spirits, and they've been doing their thing in the cupboard ever since.

I promised myself I'd wait until Christmas to bottle it, but it's getting increasingly hard to resist because it looks so gorgeous (and the little bit I tested tasted pretty good too)! Looking forward to messing around with sugar syrup and getting the balance just how I want it, that should be fun.

The only problem is I've never actually tasted sloe gin so I don't know exactly how sweet it should be - I'll probably err on the side of caution though as I hate liqueurs that are really sticky and syrupy.

Anyone else made any this year?

I thought I'd try making "slider" as well by putting the strained berries in cider for a couple of months. Recycled sloes. ;)

I make it every year - one with 125g sugar per 500g sloes and bottle-ish of gin and one with none. I strain it through a kitchen roll lined sieve, and then decant into final bottles after a week of settling.

Am about to bottle the quince brandy, and grate the quinces to make next year's mincemeat...:)

I always make mine with the following rule-of-thumb recipe:

The level of the gin should come up to the top of the level of the sloes in the container with no space at the top for a good strong fruity flavoured sloe gin .... Add no sugar until you strain it off the sloes ... then add it slowly tasting all the time ... make sure all the sugar has dissolved first.  There is a real sweet spot (sic) at about 100g per bottle but it's really important not to turn it in to sickly syrup!

Pretty much what sparrow does - 500g to a bottle of gin and 100g of sugar.  It really only needs the sugar to lightly sweeten it - it shouldn't be sickly sweet.  Leave it for three months - decant and strain.  Then leave it for a year at least before drinking.  Sloe vodka - I tend to do the same but drink it much earlier!

One thing I tried for the last few years is blackcurrant vodka - it is d**n nice and great in a margarita.  Rhubarb vodka is also surprisingly nice.  Damson vodka is new this year but everyone raves about it.  Blackberry vodka was horrible but OK in a cocktail.  Elderberry vodka was fowl - not sure what to make of that.  Lemon vodka can be great if you can capture the sour flavor without the bitterness of the pith.  One that I though would be nice was raspberry but mine wasn't pleasant so if anyone has a good recipe please do post it.

I've heard the advice to wait a year after you've strained it before - but I can't taste the difference between freshly strained and aged sloe gin at all.


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