Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Shimmy, Shimmy, Sloe Gin

I combined yesterday's dog walk with a bit of autumnal hedgerow foraging. The blackberries were eaten at dinner last night and breakfast this morning, but the sloes have a more exciting fate awaiting them.

Sloe Gin and here is my recipe;

500g sloes
250g sugar
700ml bottle of gin, plus an empty gin bottle (vodka works too)

french village diaries recipes sloe gin
Sloe Gin
Remove the stalks and wash the sloes. You can then either prick the sloes at each end with a cocktail stick to release the juices or freeze them on a tray overnight (I freeze mine). In the empty gin bottle add 250g sloes, 125g sugar and 350ml of gin. Seal and shake vigorously – I am talking a FULL body shimmy here, you should feel all your wobbly bits wobbling (I do!). Repeat with remaining ingredients in the other bottle. Shake each bottle vigorously, twice a day for at least 2 weeks, this is as good as a gym workout, especially for bingo wings. After two weeks the liquid will be dark red and the sugar will have dissolved. Leave in a cool dark place to mature – although ready to drink after a few weeks it will improve with age and is best left for a year.  I leave the sloes in the bottle, but you can strain and rebottle after 3 months.

Sloe gin is a lovely fruity apero drink, but also enhances stewed plums, pears, baked apple or quince and makes a fruity alternative to Cognac in our mulled wine at Christmas.