Sloe gin… now I have a recipe

I wrote about sloe gin a couple of days ago. When my parents made it I don’t think they had a recipe; they would fill a small bottle with sloes, pricked all over with a darning needle or bodkin (are there still such things as darning needles or bodkins?) add sugar then fill u with gin… that was it as far as i remember. No lemon, no spice, white sugar not brown… but actually I don’t really know.

Here is a recipe from the 1920’s, from the anonymous Modern Practical Cookery… I might adjust it for two reasons – I’m unlikely to find 3 pounds of sloes, and I don’t want to use half a gallon of gin!

Sloe gin

  • 3 lb sloes,
  • wipe and picked off their stalks
  • ½ gallon unsweetened gin
  • 1½ lb Demerara sugar
  • ½ oz bitter (not sweet) almonds, blanched and skinned
  1. prick sloes well in several places with a needle
  2. pack into a stone 1 gallon jar
  3. add the gin, sugar and bitter (not sweet) almonds
  4. cork the jar tightly and shake well
  5. continue t shake well every day for about 14 weeks
  6. strain, bottle and keep the cork secure

Her’s an interesting, nicely written article and modern recipe from Sipsmith – essentially, their good advice is pick the sloes when they’re ripe and use good quality gin!



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