Sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn tree and are in season between August and October. Sloe gin was traditionally used as a medicine or for a nightcap. It can be used as a flavouring for poached fruit or in cream toppings. It's also delicious on its own.
You will need
175g/6oz granulated sugar
Sterilise the bottle in which the sloe gin is to be stored by rinsing well with boiling water.
Wash and dry the sloes and prick them with a fork. Place the sloes and the sugar in alternate layers in the bottles. Top with enough gin to cover the sloes. Seal and label the bottles and store in a cool, dark cupboard for at least two to three months. During this time, the sugar will dissolve and the gin will turn a dark rose-pink.
In the first week shake the bottle every day or so and at least once a week over the next two to three months. This will help the sugar to dissolve and bring out the juice from the sloes.
Strain off the liquid, discard the sloes and store the gin in a clean, sterilised bottle.