The nights are slowly drawing in and the leaves are starting to fall, meaning autumn is well and truly underway and making sloe gin is one of our favourite ways to prepare for the season ahead.
What are sloe berries and where can you find them?
Sloe berries fruit from blackthorn and as soon as temperature drops and autumn roles in, it is the perfect time to pick them. You want to make sure you go for the richest purple berries for the best flavour and if they are able to squash easily in your fingers, they are perfectly ripe and ready for your gin.
Sloe’s are a robust fruit so when you go picking you will find them amongst most hedgerows, bridal paths and coast paths too, so you can enjoy a day exploring the Cornish countryside whilst foraging your very own sloe’s.
What gin to use?
To keep it as Cornish as possible we can’t recommend anything other than St Ives Gin or Tarquin’s Cornish Gin. Of course, any of your favourite gins will work well, but it is St Ives Gin for us!
250g Caster Sugar
70cl Cornish Gin
Pick your sloe’s, remove any stems and freeze them overnight.
Next you need a sterilised airtight jar that can hold up to 1.5 litres.
Once frozen add your sloe berries and sugar into the jar. Now time to add your gin too.
Once your mixture is prepared you need to leave it in a dark space (a kitchen cupboard will work perfectly). For the first few weeks it’s recommended you take out your gin a turn your jar. Repeat this until the sugar has dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved you need to leave it in the dark for a long time, three months minimum.
When your gin is ready, strain it through a muslin cloth into a sterilised bottle and you are ready to go.
So, time to go get picking, now is the perfect time to prepare your Christmas gin!