Sloe gin – basic recipe


’Tis the time to be picking sloes.

Sloes ripening in my local park in Kenilworth

 For any hedgerow fan, there are rich pickings – certainly in Warwickshire.

Basic recipe:
450g sloes
350g caster sugar (or granulated, but it takes longer)
750ml gin (or vodka)

If you don’t have such a sweet tooth, reduce the sugar to 250g. For a richer version, use brown sugar.

For those with patience, prick the sloes with a needle. I freeze them and break them up with a weight. Put them into sterilised Kilner jars – allow the fruit to come a third of the way up. Divide the sugar among them and top up with alcohol. Don’t waste a decent brand. You won’t be able to tell the difference.

Place the sealed jars somewhere cool and dark and leave for for 8-10 weeks, turning the bottle from time to time and shaking once a week.


Sloe gin has a fascinating history - see my forthcoming article. It all started when I was researching some typical 18th-century parlance for a book I was working on. True Haven is a regency YA fantasy set in the quirky land of Sulisia ... Here's the companion blog to find out more.

The book comes out in digital form on 3 October - available on Amazon and Crooked Cat! Who else?


By Pamela Kelt

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