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Cellar Ratting

Busy day in the chais at Domaine AnaGram EB
First bottling of the very fine 2021 Sloe Gin. I can’t remember when the fruit was ready so early enabling a late September/early October harvest.
Kilner samples are already causing excitement during a preview tasting by Mrs A.

First half done and Sloe Port started it journey today.


those are good looking bottles - better than my old waitrose gin bottle…

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I was just going to say the same - lovely bottles.

Re the contents themselves, I’m leaving mine to brew in their goodness a bit longer yet :~}

Question - do you lightly cook the sloes first (like I do), freeze them first, or painstakingly pierce them individually ? just thinking of ways to maximise the colour extraction.

We use the piercing method

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If memory serves me right they are Oxford Distillery Gin bottles.


lightly cooking so the skins split has become my preferred method as it really does rack up the bitter almond flavour and colour density. But the resultant extract is slightly cloudy which needs passing through a coffee filter before adding the sugar.

One year I tried cutting each berry. Not a good idea because the pulpy interior leaches out and becomes almost impossible to separate out - I resorted to coffee filters in the end, and they clogged up very quickly.
In theory one is supposed to wait until after the first frost before harvesting & I have had better success with these fruit, especially if there are any raisened berries. Crack a few stones open for the notes of almond / cyanide.


Easier said than done. Seems that at least in the sloes I have easy access too they’re all picked as soon as they’re even remotely ripe!


Same here! We just pick and freeze.


Absolutely. Pick, wash and freeze. Thaw and use. The freezing and thawing process softens the berry for maceration purposes nicely every time.


Fascinating, the number of different style of production. I use the minimal intervention method being a lazy sod. However the result seems to be to Mrs A’s satisfaction (my ultimate aim).

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