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Recipe for making Sloe Gin with Dried Sloe Berries

It's sloe season, and this year we're hoping to get hold of some fresh sloes to make delicious sloe gin. This jogs my memory that earlier in the year we made a batch of sloe gin with dried sloe berries bought off ebay, and I had difficulty finding a recipe with dried sloes. So for future reference, here's the recipe for sloe gin with dried berries that worked well for us.

  • 750ml bottle of gin
  • 300g dried sloe berries
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 200ml of warm water

The first and only difference between this recipe and using fresh berries was the addition of a pre-soak stage for the dried sloes. I decided that dried sloes might soak up lots of our precious gin, and thereby reduce the amount we could drink, which would be sad. So the first step was to soak the berries for a few hours in a small amount of warm water in an attempt to quench their thirst.

Once the sloes have started to hydrate, they and any remaining now-flavoured water, the sugar, and the bottle of gin are all poured into a suitable receptacle, ideally something with a fairly wide neck. Store your sloe gin in a cool dark place and play the waiting game.

Over the next 2-3 months, the flavour of the sloes will gradually seep into the gin, and you'll be left with a deep pinky-crimson mixture. When you can wait no longer, or 2 months have passed, which ever comes first, have a sample, add more sugar if necessary, and if it seems ready, pour off the gin for later enjoyment.

The gin-soaked sloes are then a bonus treat that you might wish to use in jams, compotes, crumbles, or cakes (though careful with the stones).

Best drunk neat with good company. Delicious!

Tagged: food recipes

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