About sixteen years ago we made half a dozen bottles of sloe gin. Sadly we forgot to add sugar. The result of this oversight is that the sloe gin is somewhat too bitter. Please will our wonderfully knowledgeable Society Community members kindly suggest the best way to rescue this unfortunate situation. With very many thanks and all the best of wishes.
Just add some simple syrup (equal volumes of sugar and water heated until the sugar has dissolved) to taste leave it for a couple of weeks to integrate and you should be fine.
I don’t sweeten my sloe gin until after all the flavour extraction has happened, you can control the flavour and balance a lot better.
Seconded. I put half the sugar in when extracting and the rest to taste when straining and bottling. It will be fine.
Even easier. Just add sugar, no water no syrup. Give it a shake (every week or so) and you are where you should have been from the start.
DON’T use a sugar syrup - all that does is add water and dilute the sloe gin. Be VERY careful about how much sugar you add - you can always add but never take away. As to the bitterness - I’m not sure you can do anything about it, especially if it is 16 years old! embrace the bitterness.
With Gin it will be sublime.
How about …use it in cocktails where other items add the sweetness ?
I agree with just adding sugar. I also always add a small amount of almond essence. If you’re not sure about the latter you do have 6 bottles to experiment with.
I would try emptying a couple of bottles worth into a clean kilner jar, adding 100g of caster sugar and a cheap bottle of red wine. Shake every day for a couple of weeks and then add 150ml of cheap brandy. Leave for as month and then re-bottle as Sloe Port!
Thank you everyone for your kind advice, there are indeed some novel ideas.
The idea of adding almond essence is interesting but it is hard to understand what it would do to the taste of the sloe gin.
The idea of adulterating sloe gin with the addition of cheap wine and cheap brandy in order to turn the sloe gin into sloe port doesn’t really suit as it is sloe gin that I wish to drink, even so it is an amusing concept even though it contradicts an old caution concerning the immixing of certain grains and grape.
Having done a bit of research we have decided to start using our first bottle of unsweetened sloe gin in the cooking of game.
There are lots of receipts for this, particularly so for venison, partridge and grouse.
Perhaps pink-foot, pheasant and wild duck would also be benefitted.
Thank you all again.
I think that wisdom refers to drinking them both in the same evening/session. That way madness lies!
All members of the plum family contain teeny tiny amounts of cyanide which can sometimes be discerned in an almond taste - hence the addition of almond essence to sloe gin to emphasize this. When I make my wild cherry gin I smash the stones and the resulting liqueur tastes like amaretto. I used to make blackcurrant gin without sugar and then add a spoonful when I came to drink it which made for a nice ritual albeit a bit fiddly. I’d suggest just adding sugar to the bottles and shaking them every day til it’s dissolved.
Why not put two drops of almond essence in a half bottle and see how you go. Many recipes mention it and it’s certainly to my taste.
I get where you’re coming from with the watering down (and not wanting to), the reason I use sugar syrup is it’s far easier to stir in to taste rather than having to try and dissolve the sugar taste and find you’ve over done it.
You really are going to drink this stuff!
Did you happen to put in almond essence?
Three of the above comments recommend this.
How many years do you keep it before drinking?
It’ll be lucky to see the summer. It does not improve once bottled. No almond???