This is my own adaptation of a recipe which works well for me. What you end up with is liqueur-like but not too cloyingly sweet. The flavour of the fruit should shine through and, perversely, is enhanced by the use of cheaper, less strongly-flavoured gin. Aldi, here we come …
|preparation time:||6 months|
- sloes, washed and pricked with a fork.
- gin (the cheaper the better)
- almond essence
Your bottles must be clean and dry to start with. Half-fill each bottle with pricked sloes (I prick them as I go and get my fingers in a terrible mess). Depending upon bottle size, add sugar as follows: 750ml bottle – 2oz, 1000ml bottle – 3 oz. (I know those proportions are not quite consistent but it seems ot work.) Top each bottle up with your cheap gin and stopper them.
Find somewhere cool to store the bottles. For the first week, agitate the bottles well daily by inverting them a few times. After the first week leave them well alone (as in, don’t drink them) for at least 3 months and preferably 6 months. Just try to forget them, though further occasional agitations would not go amiss.
After 3/6 months you should have a very appealing deep red liquid. Strain the gin into a single container so as to distribute the sweetness evenly. Using fresh, clean, sterilized bottles (preferably clear glass), bottle and cap the gin. Now drive yourself completely nuts by standing it and leaving it well alone for at least another month, preferably 3 months.
OK, have at it!