November, our first frost has hit deep. Perfecting the timing as the sub zero breath of nature helped split the skins of the astringent sloe. Its been a Sparse year for the sloe however i have picked enough today to share through the festive season with family and friends in front of the fire. (leaning to make fire presently with natures tool box only).
SLOE GIN. Less a recipe than a simple procedure.
Collect a few handfuls of sloes (500g, say), wash and weigh them, then prick each one with a skewer or a thorn from the bush itself.
Place the sloes into a sterilised wine bottle or Kilner jar until it's half-full, then add caster sugar equal to half the weight of the sloes. Top up with gin (no point wasting a premium brand here), pop in a stopper, give the bottle a good shake and leave somewhere cool and dark. Shake once a week for six to eight weeks and it's ready. Ready for Christmas and New-Year
A word of warning, though: not for nothing did the grand old dame of British food writing, Dorothy Hartley, dub sloe gin the original mother's ruin.