How to make sloe gin

How to make sloe gin

Yay! It’s that time of year! This year I won’t be able to take part in the fruits of Peter’s labour (because this is his recipe, not mine), which is a real shame. Sloe gin and prosecco is one of my favourite Christmassy drinks and now is the time to make it. Peter’s parents gave us a big bag of sloe gin when we went to see them in Cornwall, so when we got back we (/Peter, with me looking on) set to making the gin.


  • 100g sloes
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 litre gin*

How to make sloe gin

Step one: Sloes should really be picked after the first frost, as the skin bursts a bit and lets the juices out into the gin. This can be faked either by putting the sloes in the freezer overnight or by pricking each sloe with a toothpick. We have only ever done the toothpick method as it seems more reliable, but let me know if you find the freezer method works for you!

How to make sloe gin

Step two: Add the sloes into a big bottle, followed by the sugar, and then the gin.

How to make sloe gin

Step three: Close the bottle up tightly and then put into a dark cupboard. Turn the bottle upside down to loosen the sugar every day and around two months later, your sloe gin will be ready! Well, almost…

Step four: Drain the liquid into another bottle through a muslin cloth. We’ve found a few dead creepy crawlies in our bottles in the past, so this step is a must – don’t just rely on a sieve. Once it’s all sieved through, your sloe gin is ready, and will keep for absolutely ages in your liquor cabinet. Ours is still ‘brewing’, but I’ll post up a photo when it’s ready to share!

*Disclaimer: We have used this bottle because it’s pretty, but this was just an empty bottle of gin – we actually used super cheap supermarket own brand for the mixture, as it doesn’t really matter what quality of gin you use! The flavour’s in the sloes and sugar.

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  • Reply Anne Wheaton

    I think the idea of waiting for the first frost is so that you know the sloes are definitely ripe (though a quick squeeze is a good indicator). If you freeze the sloes and then add the gin it bursts the skins, which is a lot quicker than pricking them all though perhaps not so romantic. Good year for sloes so hoping they’ll make lots of really good sloe gin.

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