Sunday, October 24, 2010
Once defrosted, mix the gin and sugar together. It'll need a quick shake daily until the sugar has dissolved (and you'll be surprised how long that can take).
Once you've got enough for a 1 gallon demi-john (about 4lb of sloes, 4 pints gin and 1lb sugar) you can add a little spices to taste. The recommended ones are allspice berries, star anise and cinnamon (not cloves as that can make it taste too much like a fruit flavoured cough syrup or similar).
If you picked your sloes early october, then the mix will be just about ready to drink by christmas. The downside of picking the sloes then, is that you can often get an acidic "green" or unripe taste that takes a while to age out. Hence I usually try to pick my fruit at the end of october (if the berries are a little soft or shrivelled, it doesn't matter - oh and the old wives tales of not picking them before the first frost, is to do with the possibility of getting the green/unripe acidity, apart from that it doesn't matter).
Me ? I like to make it now and keep it for a year, then it comes out wonderful :-P