Let's start with the basic Sloe Gin
750ml/1.5 pints gin 340g/12o sugar 500g/1lb sloes ●
METHOD: Sloe gin is deliciously warming, and easy to make. Simply take the ingredients and leave them in a jar or bottle in a cool dark place for a few months before straining to give you your sloe gin. This may sound simple, but this is all there is to it.
What is happening to your gin Two things are happening to your gin as it sits in your dark cupboard. Firstly the flavour from the sloes or other fruit botanicals is being infused into the gin, and secondly the sugar is dissolving into the gin, taking the edge off the tart flavour of the sloes, making it sweeter. It’s these two basic processes that can be played around with to make a variety of infused gins for every occasion. I caught up with award-winning bartender Mark Barrett, who can usually be found concocting and mixing at Cringletie House in Peebles. Mark's top tips for flavouring gin at home: Make sure the container you are using is clean and sterilised. The lower-sugar recipes processes I favour make it a perfect place for bacteria to grow, so as well as standard washing I recommend using something like Milton fluid.
Use a glass container for infusing, as it’s not only see-through, but is easier to clean and maintain.
Make sure your container has an air-tight lid and ample space to house your infusion with room for stirring or shaking.
Use a neutral flavoured gin.
When using any fruit or veg, freeze it