Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wild Food Recipe- Sloe Gin


I have been foraging for quite a few years but for some reason, I have never made Sloe Gin. The berries were not quite ready when I tried to pick them or all of the birds (and cool Sheffield folk) stripped the branches clean by the time I got my act together.  I went to visit a friend who is my foraging buddy. We had one objective this weekend- to make this delicious beverage. Gin is my favourite drink in general, but somehow when infused with Sloe berries it is even tastier. 
Here is the recipe that I used. I made two batches with different sugar contents. There are lots of different recipes out there, ranging from almost 50/50 ratio of berries and sugar. The ratio that I used has a moderate amount of sugar so the end product should be somewhere in the middle on the sweetness scale. 

You need:
630 grams of Sloe berries 
250 grams of caster sugar 
1/2 of orange zest 
1 litre of London Dry Gin - any cheap gin from the supermarket will be fine as long as it is London Dry Gin 

Sweeter version 
Use the recipe above but add 350 grams of sugar instead. If you don't like strong orange flavour you can also lower the amount of orange zest 

How to : 
1. Pick the berries. They should ideally be picked after the first frost but you can bypass that by freezing them. The sloes that I picked were quite soft (all of the berries were ready a little bit earlier this year) so I skipped the freezing. 

2. Put the berries in a clean wide-mouth glass jar. Make sure that it is airtight as you will need to shake the jar without spilling any of the precious liquid. 

3. Add the sugar and orange zest to berries and cover in gin. 

4. Shake vigorously to try and dissolve some of the sugar. 

5. Store somewhere dry and cool away from the sunlight. You will need to shake the jar every day for about a week and then every week until it is ready- about 12 weeks later. Apparently, Sloe Gin tastes better with age- I suspect I will never know that for sure as there is no way I will be leaving it long enough to find out! 

                        Over the coming weeks, the infused gin will turn deep red

The sugar and alcohol came in recyclable materials so there was no waste in the process!  


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