25 Sep

Welcome to October, its just around the corner. We all fall in love with all the fruit and vegetables again and celebrate with a lovely seasonal harvest of mushrooms, pumkins, pears, plums, sloes and lots more.

You may like an autumn tipple so when you have foraged all of the sloes from our british hedgerows which are heaving with sloes and have done so for years you could have a go at making some sloe gin, here is a recipe which I like. You need to wait for the first frost though before picking, they say but as our weather is getting milder these days  the best thing to do is fill up your bags and containers, then pop them into the freezer over night instead, this will simulate the first frost, helping to split the skins and release the juices. Sloe gin is easy to make but takes about two months to infuse.


500g Ripe sloes, 250g Golden caster sugar, 1 litre bottle of gin,

Rinse and pick over the sloes, then pat dry in a clean tea towel, using a stainless steal fork prick the sloes and tip into a 2 litre kilner jar or divide between two smaller jars.

Add the sugar and gin and seal the top. Shake well each day for a week, give the jar a good shake then put in a cool dark place and leave for 2 – 3 months.

Line a plastic sieve with a plastic square of muslim, set over the bowl and strain the sloe gin through it.

Decant into clean glass bottles seal and label. The sloe gin is now ready but will improve and mature  over time.

This is a sloe gin cocktail, try this when you have some friends round.

50ml sloe gin, 25ml lemon juice, 25ml gin and ice crushed

For the juniper Syrup

100g white caster sugar, 1 tbsp juniper berries,

Start by making the juniper syrup

100g white caster sugar, 1 tbsp juniper berries,

Start making the juniper syrup, put the sugar in a saucepan then add 100ml water and the juniper berries, bring to the boil then take of the heat and gently squash the berries. Use a potato masher to mash the sloes and leave to steep until completley cold, then strain into sterilised bottles or jar. This will keep in the fridge for two weeks.

Put the slow gin, lemon juice, gin and 2tsp of the syrup in a cocktail shaker with a few ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a tumbler filled with crushed ice, serve immediatly.