Homemade Sloe Gin

I always know Autumn has well and truly arrived when it’s time to make sloe gin!  It’s my husband’s guilty pleasure and is often enjoyed slurped out of a hip flask!

Earlier this week I set off with our dogs to pick some sloes from the hedgerow.  You will need approx 800g.


800g sloes

140g granulated sugar

1 litre of gin (plus a little more for topping up later when you decant)

Additional equipment:

 a funnel, weighing scales, and cocktail sticks, plus two 70cl old screw top bottles sterilised in the dishwasher.


Tradition dictates that sloes should be picked after the first frost, but I prefer to pick my sloes when they’re plump and juicy.  I artificially recreate frost conditions in my freezer by leaving them there overnight.

Begin by taking the frozen sloes out of the freezer.  With a cocktail stick pierce the skin of each sloe and subdivide evenly into two old sterilised 70cl bottles.

Next, using a funnel, add 55g of sugar to each bottle.

Finally, using the funnel, add the gin to the sloes and sugar and place in a dark cool place.  Shake the bottles daily for the first few weeks.  As the sugar dissolves the colour of the liquid will intensify as the juices from the sloes seep into the gin.  Once the sugar has completely dissolved, the sloes have shrunk to half their size and the colour of the liquid has become more intense you are ready to decant.


After three months pour the contents of the bottle through a sieve into a 1 litre pouring jug.  Discard the sloes and refill the bottles with the strained liquid topping up with additional gin.

We drink our sloe gin after three months, but kept in a cool, dark, dry place will keep for a few years. 

Sloe Gin With a Twist

According to my husband a “sloegasm”, champagne with a small shot of sloe gin, is simply delicious – personally I prefer my drinks unadulterated!

Good luck and happy sloe gin making!

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One Response to Homemade Sloe Gin

  1. Pingback: Bottled it « Spring Cottage

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