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Hedgerow Bounty

“Never mine the Bullace, here’s my plums”. Fnar.
(Apologies, couldn’t keep it in).

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gnarf gnarf…

Picked some lovely ripe sloes at the weekend


Planning to drench them in gin for warming shots / prosecco improvement. However, I am looking for assistance for a great recipe.

I’ve seem some online, but if anyone has a tried and trusted method, please share.

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I always freeze the sloes before using - skins split during the process so no pricking required

i’ve used river cottage recipe in the past

2 volumes of gin to 1 of sloes and 1/2 of sugar

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Thanks. They went in the freezer tonight. Just need some gin.

We had a hedge of sloes at the top of my Dad’s vineyard. I seem to recall they were only picked after the first frost. Apparently the frostbite made the flesh taste sweeter.

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I can believe that, given what happens with some other fruits and vegetables when frost strikes (conversion of complex carbohydrates to simple sugars ??)

when was first frost ? If we can get some light frosts end of October…by which time the sloes are gone

The past few years I’ve taken to doing the infusing with the fruit only and then adding sugar afterwards.

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do you add sugar in ‘raw’ form or as a syrup ?

As a syrup.

I was late for a now cancelled work call mid post hence the lack of detail. Sorry!

I use a similar sloe to gin ratio as you and then add a two parts sugar/one part water sugar syrup to sweeten to taste when bottling and leave for another few months to integrate. It’s a technique I picked up first with making cassis with my dad’s glut of blackcurrants (which he has again this year, so has been instructed) but has become part of my general booze infusing lore.

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we’ve all delayed work to finish posts on here :rofl:

thanks - will try.

seriously thinking of cassis next year…we always have loads

Do it! Home made cassis is seriously good.

A kilo of fruit to a bottle of vodka (or other clear spirit, I guess some sort of eau de vie/marc/grappa is traditional?) leave for five months, mash/blend/sieve to make sure you get as much of the fruit juice as you can and sweeten as above.

Yes, on doing a bit of reading, the Sipsmith version advises this method. Makes sense as you can tailor how much sugar you add balanced against the ripeness of the sloes, which can vary year to year / picking date.

Also explains why my father-in-law, who makes it every year (despite not drinking), sometimes clears the board at the village show and sometimes churns out really syrupy cough mixture.

Edit: link to Sipsmith sloe gin

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you’ve twisted my arm…will keep some half bottles over the winter, ready for the onslaught

Cassis has so many good memories for me…when I was a child, we always brought a bottle home from French holidays. Its the go to to revive bad sparkles (I know if we are at a party and my wife says she fancies a Kir, that the sparkling is naff!) and one dear friend always asks me to bring it back for him when I go to France

could sell that given current cough prevalence !

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That’ll be the 2018 vintage