Sloe picking, fast gin - How to make your own sloe gin

Sloe picking J Boult Designs

A couple people have recently asked me how I make my own sloe flavoured gin. I thought that I would write it down for everyone to have a look at. For anyone who hasn’t tasted or made sloe gin before, I can promise you that it is about a million times better than shop bought flavoured gin. All it takes is patience and a bit of time.


You will need:

  • A lot of sloe berries
  • Equal measures of sugar
  • Cheap gin ( The cheapest is from Aldi I find)
  • A demijohn (this isn’t entirely necessary, you can do it in large bottles)

How to:

Find someone who knows the lay of the land, where the sloe berries are. I would recommend bribing them with sloe gin.

Next - Pick ‘em, and pick lots of them. We usually try and pick around 5kg. 

When you get home, put them all in the freezer. This means that the tough skin loosens and that you don’t need to do laborious work taking them apart. Leave for a day or so. 

Take the sloes out of the freezer and weigh the sloes - the idea of sloe gin is to have half sloes to half sugar and top it up with gin. 

Layer the demijohns or bottles with a layer of sloes, a layer of sugar until pretty much full. Top up the demijohn or bottle with gin.

Leave for a minimum of 6 weeks. I normally leave it for longer, like 8 weeks. The longer you leave it, the better the taste is. Make sure you give the bottle or demijohn a shake everyday so that the sugar and flavour of the berries dissolves into the gin. 

Makes for a perfect gift for Christmas (alongside a J Boult Designs key ring, of course) 

I would also recommend flavouring gin with Rhubarb and Ginger, or wild raspberries, or brambles or anything else you can get your hands on. I haven't yet attempted Sloe Whisky, but I've heard that this is a lovely dram to try and flavour with sloes as well. 

Have you flavoured gin or any other spirit? Leave a comment! We’re always looking for more recipes and flavours to try!

(Please note: This is something that strictly over 18's should be consuming, you can also follow a similar recipe for Sloe Berry jelly with the same ingredients, minus the alcohol)  



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