When we went to visit Dave’s friend over Christmas, they gave us this cute little bottle of sloe gin. I love sloe gin! Randomly, although I knew I liked sloe gin, I had never actually thought about what the berries looked like, and had never appreciated that sloeberries are Schlehen in German. There is a sloe bush outside my parents house, and every day when I walked back from the bus I would pick one and scrunch up my face. Like a silly little ritual. I haven’t seen sloeberries anywhere in years (probably because I don’t get out into the countryside much) but apparently Leicestershire is covered in them.
They are in season in the autumn so there wasn’t a huge amount left when were down for Christmas, but then Dave’s mum went for a cycle ride and saw a bit of hedge where there were still some. So we decided to get some and make our own sloe gin. The bushes were pretty bare, and we had to walk along quite a long way to get enough to fill our box. Then when we had finished we found a bush that had loads on still, if we’d seen that one first we wouldn’t have needed to go anywhere else. Never mind, we worked for our berries.
To make your own, this is what you need:
1 litre gin
You need to stick everything into the jar and leave to stand in a cool place, shaking it up every two days for a week, then weekly for two months. Then strain into a sterilised bottle.
We used a mix of decent but not amazing gin people had left behind at ours after parties, but you can use really horrid cheapy stuff if you want. We also made some vodka, just replacing the gin for it.
I don’t know if this has worked or not yet, we will be straining it for my leaving party on 18 February, so I will update this post then. It’s definitely taken on the colour already!