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Tuesday 14 August 2012

The Boy and his Poison: Ma Smith's Sloe Gin

You may remember that in my Wibble recipe last Friday, I mentioned how my parents' sloe gin habit was one of the few redeeming features of our annual soirees. This year, in the pursuit of divining the finest recipes for Domestic Sluttery I finally got them to divulge their home-brew secrets in exchange for three days of cooking and washing up.

Sure, you could just pop down to the shops and pick up a bottle of Gordon's or even Chase Sloe Gin. However if you're within walkable distance of these delicious, accessible and very British berries (which will be pickable in the next few weeks) it's a great way to enhance an otherwise pedestrian bottle of gin and better still, there's nothing like making your own liqueur as an excuse for a walk in the country.

You'll need
  • An empty litre or 70cl glass bottle
  • The results of a good day's sloe picking which means enough Sloes to fill 1/3 of a 70cl gin bottle.
  • 70cl of gin (everything displaced can be easily absorbed in one of our gin recipes)
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
Make it
  • Pick and freeze your sloe berries for a day. This helps to burst their skins and also means you can preserve them till when you're prepared for the next stage.
  • Sterilise your bottle
  • Fill it 1/3 full of your sloe berries
  • Top up with your gin 
  • Add 2 tsbp of sugar
  • Leave in a dark place for 3-4 months
  • Strain through muslin into a bottle until ready to use.
Delicious sloe photo courtesy of Kat…


  1. I always thought of sloe gin as one of those nasty sweet drinks that show up at college parties. I would like to give the homemade variety a chance, but I don't think sloes grow anywhere in my part of the US.

  2. And then, when you have strained your sloe berries you get to make them into alcoholic tiffin to serve to your guests!


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