Sloe gin

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Redgrave_3

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Hi, long time reader 1st time poster. I hope this is the correct thread/area.

Finally got some sloes in some gin after work tonight. I’ve left it rather late (they’ve been in the freezer whilst I’ve persistently forgotten to buy the gin). I usually whip this stuff out at Christmas, although I know keeping it a year + would be ideal.

What I’ve done is put them in the airing cupboard in the hope the extra warmth will help them infuse more quickly. But I’ve got this niggling doubt that this is a terrible idea and the gin will be ruined (as opposed to ruining me). Any thoughts would be welcome as to whether this is a good, bad or insignificant approach?

Cheers!
 

Dutto

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I wouldn't worry.

Your right in thinking that a year would be better but it's not the end of the world.

For a "rush job" you should have "pricked" each and every sloe before popping it into the bottle, but very few people have the patience to do that so, just before Christmas, I suggest that you:
  • Pour out the gin into a jug.
  • Shake out the sloes into a piece of clean muslin.
  • Squeeze out the juices from the sloes. (Just twisting the muslin is often enough but if the sloes are still hard you may have "squidge" them a bit.)
  • Put the gin and the juice from the sloes back into the bottle and top it up with fresh gin from a second bottle.
Whatever it tastes like at that time is more or less what it's going to taste like forever so knocking it back over Christmas is a good idea.

I like drinking Sloe Gin 1:2 with Bitter Lemon. Delicious as an aperitif.
 

Redgrave_3

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Bitter lemon you say, sounds very interesting. My main concern was whether the warmth was going to somehow effect the taste.

Thanks for the reassurance though and i’ll be sure to follow your advice for wringing out the sloes.

Cheers
 

hesstondriver

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If you've frozen them ( like I do) , when de frosted I put then in the bottle / jar with just a spash of gin then vigoriously shake the bottle which sort of mashes the sloes up . then ad add my sugar and more gin,

that give a pretty quick turn around , but it will need filtering . you might be able to do this now , tip gin out - shake bottle to mash sloes and then top up again ?
 

Oneflewover

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If you've frozen them ( like I do) , when de frosted I put then in the bottle / jar with just a spash of gin then vigoriously shake the bottle which sort of mashes the sloes up . then ad add my sugar and more gin,

that give a pretty quick turn around , but it will need filtering . you might be able to do this now , tip gin out - shake bottle to mash sloes and then top up again ?
That's what I do, much easier and more efficient than pricking each sloe!
 

terrym

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That's what I do, much easier and more efficient than pricking each sloe!
Me too.athumb..
What I’ve done is put them in the airing cupboard in the hope the extra warmth will help them infuse more quickly. But I’ve got this niggling doubt that this is a terrible idea and the gin will be ruined (as opposed to ruining me). Any thoughts would be welcome as to whether this is a good, bad or insignificant approach?
I would think this is fine. If I were you I would be leaving it to steep until right up to Christmas but with a good stir up every day until it's time to separate the spent berries from the gin. And then you are good to go. Personally I think the early gin is better than the gin left to mature.
 

Redgrave_3

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Soooo... turns out airing cupboard was a bad choice.

It worked in the sense it already had a great colour even after the first 12 hours (remembering previous years this had taken weeks).

But blowing a whole in the bottle and leaching all that gin into the cupboard was clearly sub optimal. If I didn’t have two more bottles I’d be miffed.

On the plus side the whole house now smell like gin and I’m cooking up the sloes I could save to make a sort of sloe syrup I’ll strain and add to some more gin when it’s cooled to see how that works out.
 

Redgrave_3

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So the sloe syrup/stew idea appears to have worked. I decided to add more water than I’d originally planned to make it easier to get all the goodness in the bottle, which I guess will make the whole thing pretty weak. I’ll let it set a while but an initial taste isrecognisably sloe gin (or should that be fast gin?).
 

Ah50

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Can anyone help? I have got bottles and bottles of port in the cupboard, and I've just finished my sloe gin. Can I steep sloes in port?
 

Dutto

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Port is a fortified wine so it has a higher ABV than ordinary wine and the spirit used is generally "taste neutral".

This means that Port is not "aromatised" (like Noilly Pratt and Vermouth) and relies on ageing to give the taste; so using sloes to add flavour is possible. However:
  1. You may finish up with less volume unless you squeeze out the sloes after steeping them in the Port.
  2. Squeezing out the sloes may make the Port a very bitter drink.
  3. Adding the sloes may not make the Port taste any better!
Enjoy, especially if the finished product is made into a long-drink with ice and lemonade!
 

Tony Palmer

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Think you have done all you can. However in future allow the frozen sloes to dethaw, then add the sugar and leave for several days whilst the sugar sucks the juice from the sloes (shake regularly) then add the gin. Keep in a dark place and shake periodically.
 

johncrobinson

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My parents made sloe gin using the pricked berries and the method by Tony Palmer above.
Quite nice.!!
 

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