Sloe gin revisited

Back in early autumn last year, as we were enjoying an unseasonal heatwave in London – picnics in the park, drinks in the sunshine and balmy evenings. At that time, I posted about my attempts at home-made sloe gin, made with local fruit sourced from some very old bushes growing wild in the local area – the lovely Clissold Park. It’s two minutes from my house – so for the Hackney foodie set, it just couldn’t really get much more local that that!

So, today, I present the fruits if my labour, and I can confirm that it’s quite something.

The name “sloe gin” is perhaps a little misleading. Gone is the strong flavour of gin, and the mixture is transformed into a marvellous liqueur. It has a fantastic crimson colour and plummy flavour with a very mild hint of almond. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and the dominant taste is “fruity”.

Over New Year, it featured in place of cassis in a glass of champagne under the moniker of the “Sloe Gin Fizz Royale”, lending a pinkish blush and delicate “something” to the champagne. Later, after food and fireworks, it was sipped from glasses next to a log fire. By that stage, it was slightly warm and made a great liquor to share while everyone lazed around, chatting about the year that had passed and the year to come until the wee small hours.

All in all, I am very happy with this little experiment – the results were far better than I had dared to hope for, and I’m looking forward to trying something similar with other fruit this year.

If you’re keen to try making sloe gin, wait until Autumn when you get a decent haul of fruit and use this recipe.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Sloe gin revisited

  1. peasepudding

    Beautiful colour, I still haven’t opened my damson gin yet I really must create with the berries and slurp the gin!

    • Oh, you’re lucky to have damsons! I tried my sloes, buy they still taste horrid, which makes the wonder of the gin all the more amazing! I’ve actually got two batches – one was drink around Christmas, the other is still steeping and is due to be bottled at the end of the month. Leaving it for longer does seem to make a positive difference. I’ve also got another two pounds of sloes in the freezer, so luckily there is no chance of running out.

      Hope your damson gin works out well. The fruit could make a wonderful compote or tart.

  2. hopeeternal

    After my thoughts on Sloe Kir written in the comments section of your other post, I thought I ought to report that we also tried it, but as an aperitif at our New Year Day family meal. It was a definite hit: I offered it with both sparkling wine (did not push the boat out with champers for a Royale) and also a sparkling non-alcoholic grape juice (Asda Extra Special) – helpful for the drivers as wines were on offer at both main and dessert courses! Our meal was at midday but I love the idea of drinking and watching fireworks at the same time.
    Next year I might try some damson gin, using some fruit I have in the freezer.
    A very ‘happy’ New Year from the other side of the Hackney/W’stow marshes!
    hopeeternal
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

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