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Sloe Gin

Sloe Gin

2 lbs. Sloes
2 lbs. Castor Sugar
1 Bottle Gin (or any white spirit)

Sloes are the ancestors of our modern Plum.
The fruit of the Blackthorn, they are very common during late autumn.
They can be very prolific on some bushes so it is worth taking your time to find the right bush.
The thorns are savage so take care (or wear leather gloves).
They look like small black marbles with a dull skin, inside the flesh is greeny yellow and plum like.
The flesh is very bitter - the mouth creeps - should you have the courage to taste one, but the flavour of plums is there.
Traditionally they are picked only after the first frost as this makes the skins more permeable and lets the flavours get into the gin.
If you have any doubts just put them into the freezer overnight and this will have the same effect.
You will need two clean empty bottles for this.
Put a pound of sloes and a pound of sugar into each bottle.
Fill each bottle up with the gin.
Cork it well and shake to dissolve the sugar.
Keep for at least 2 months (this means it will be ready for Christmas) and continue shaking from time to time until all the sugar is dissolved.
By Christmas you will have a delicious plummy liquour and some now - very edible sloes which (when stoned) are wonderful scattered on Ice-Cream.

April 14, 2006 09:12 PM | 0 Comments
  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef