This post is Christmas themed. *Gasp!*
Don’t worry, I know it’s only the beginning of October, but now is the perfect time to get started on one of the best homemade Christmas gifts, sloe gin. As Autumn rolls around in the UK blackthorn trees are in season and bursting with fruit, so it’s the ideal time to get your gin going to be perfectly prepped for the holiday season.
Making sloe gin fits in so perfectly with seasonal eating; October is the best time to pick (or buy) your sloe berries and leaves just enough time for Christmas, as sloe gin needs to be left for at least two months. According to Jamie Oliver, if you’re picking then you can tell the berries are ripe if they pop easily between your finger and thumb (and we all know Jamie is bae).
So how do you make Sloe gin? Don’t worry. It may take time, but it isn’t difficult. And it only needs three ingredients:
– sloe berries
– 1 litre of good quality gin
– Pop your berries in the freezer overnight, so their skin splits and releases their natural sweetness
– Half fill an airtight, sterilised 1 litre bottle with sloe berries, add three tablespoons of sugar and top up with good gin. FAIR gin is my personal recommend: fairtrade, sustainable AND high quality
– Leave for a minimum of 2 months out of direct sunlight, shaking the bottle every week
– When you’re ready, strain the gin through a muslin cloth and bottle into a nice container of your choice, tasting it and adding a little more gin if necessary
Top tips (from my friend Laura, the queen of sloe gin)
– a mix of caster and muscavado sugar is a great mix for sloe gin
– do a huge batch so you can leave some bottled for next year, it’ll be even better than the first batch
Enjoy! You’ll thank me in a few months 😉
Until next time, stay magic y’all.