Posts Tagged sloe gin

Making plum gin

The first thing to do is pick your plums and sort out those that are ripe.  We have a Victoria plum tree so we always use those.


Destalk them and wash them, then prick them all over with a knife.


Weigh them, you need at least 500g fruit to every 70 cl bottle of gin and 250g of caster sugar.  I made double and put in a few extra plums for good measure.  Add these to a suitable container such as a wide neck large jar.DSC00458

Next weigh and add the sugar.


Then add 4 drops of vanilla essence per 70 cl of gin.


Add the gin (I used 2 x 70 cl bottles of Lidl gin, nothing posh!!)


Then put the lid on and give it a good shake.  Shake every day for a week, then every week for a month, then just every now and again.


Leave to marinate for approx. 4 months.  If you make it now it should be ready for Xmas.

You can use the same basic recipe for sloe gin or damson gin.  With sloes you need to put them in the freezer for a couple of days first to imitate frost, then follow the same steps as above in the same quantities.  Whatever fruit you use it turns out delicious!!  Much to be recommended.

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Making Sloe Gin in November

Our lovely B&B guests very kindly brought us a large bag full of Sloes that they had picked in the hedgerows in Herefordshire.  When they were here last time we were bemoaning that there were no sloes here in Buckland St Mary and they told us the sloes were plentiful near them, so they picked some, froze them and brought them on down to us.  That was so kind and thoughtful of them.

So we started off straight away making some sloe gin.  Firstly  you need the gin and we buy the cheapest we can find from Asda or Lidl.  For each litre of gin you need 250g of granulated sugar and a few drops of Vanilla essence.

These were the sloes just thawing out:

There were some really quite large ones amongst the haul, but they are smaller than damsons.  I used a funnel to add the sugar to the demi john.

And that’s all there is to it, just sloes, gin, sugar and vanilla. You give it a good shake every day for a week, every week for a month and every month for about 6 months.  We split the sloes into 2 demi johns as there were quite a lot of them, and in all used 2.5 litres of gin.  Goodness only knows what the recycling men thought of all the gin bottles in the recyling this week!!

To make sloe gin in November is somewhat later in the year than normal, but then we had different circumstances this year, so we are just glad to be making any at all.  It won’t be ready for Christmas this year though, so good job we have a little drop of sloe gin left from last year’s brew.

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Sloe Gin competition

The other night we went down the local pub for the Sloe Gin Competition.  Lots of local people came armed with their home-made concoctions and these were then poured into small glasses and labelled with raffle ticket numbers.  We were then given a straw and you had to take a sip from each glass and determine which sloe gin you thought was the best, and then write the number on a slip of paper.

The sloe gins ready for tasting

There were different categories.  Ours was entered into “This Year’s Sloe Gin” which was the first category.  Later there was a “Vintage Sloe Gin” category and lastly “Other things made with sloes” category.

Tasting the various sloe gins

Some Sloe Gin was very dry, some was like cough mixture and some more sweet.  I think it is obviously very much down to personal taste, and of course we both thought ours was the best, but we didn’t win.  Nevermind, we have a full demi john of our sloe gin to make our way through, and  I am sure some of that will disappear over Christmas.

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