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!
- 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
- prick sloes well in several places with a needle
- pack into a stone 1 gallon jar
- add the gin, sugar and bitter (not sweet) almonds
- cork the jar tightly and shake well
- continue t shake well every day for about 14 weeks
- 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!