A picture of gooseberries and sloe gin making in a jam jar next to a bottle of gin on a table

When purchasing a bottle in the liquor aisle, sloe gin might not be your first choice. But it’s a wonderful drink when you make your own or receive a bottle of this homemade liqueur. Sloe berries come from the blackthorn tree and are also known as blackthorn berries.

Gin generally has beautiful herbal flavours with bright floral notes. Made with juniper berries, the alcohol content averages around 40% ABV. Sloe berries are slightly tart, and they balance the flavour of the gin with a light almond taste. The ABV of the finished sloe bottle is usually in the region of 25% ABV.

This type of gin is often spiced up with some cinnamon and vanilla. Sip it warm on a winter’s day and it’s like heaven in a glass. Hence it is often associated with Christmas and makes a thoughtful Christmas gift. Present it in a good quality spirit bottle, and you have a beautiful gift idea.

What You Need

  • 1 lb (450g) of ripe sloe berries
  • 1 lb (450g) of granulated sugar
  • 1 litre of gin (the quality depends on your budget)
  • 1 sterilised 1-litre glass bottle
  • 1 tight-fitting plastic screw cap

How to Make Sloe Gin at Home

        1. Before you begin, sterilise the glass bottle and lid. The easiest way to do this is to wash them both in hot soapy water and then rinse them with piping-hot water. Allow the bottle and lid to dry before using them.
        2. Use ripe sloe berries to ensure you get the most flavour. Wash and pick over the berries, making sure to remove all the twigs and leaves. Pat the berries dry with a dry cloth.
        3. Prick the sloe berries with a fork to help release the juice and place them in the glass bottle.
        4. Add the sugar and the gin and seal the bottle.
        5. Shake well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
        6. Store your bottle in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months. The longer you leave it, the better the result.
        7. Strain the mixture through a square of muslin or a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the solids and decant your gin into a dry, clean bottle and add a label.
        8. You are ready to enjoy your homemade sloe gin, or you can allow it to improve and mature.

Tips For Making Sloe Gin

    • Your result will depend on many factors, one of these being the quality of your gin. Try to use a high-quality gin to get the most flavour.
    • Sloe gin-making requires time, and the longer you take, the better. Let your mixture mature for up to months to get the best results.
    • Sloe gin making is similar to baking. While you now have a sloe gin recipe, you should alter it to your tastes.
    • Enjoy your gin neat over ice, or use it in cocktails. It will keep for up to 2 years if you store it correctly in a quality spirit bottle in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep it in your fridge.


The Bottle Jar Store

At The Bottle Jar Store, we have different types of glass bottles to store your sloe gin, take a look at our range and order online today!

About the author : Rob James

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