Tonight's spare time job was to start off a batch of sloe gin. The first litre using a Gilbey's Gin bottle and the second a habitat jar with a Grolsch type top.
The Gilbey's bottle got 1/2 litre of Gordon's (yes I know but I can't get Gilbey's...) and 150g of sugar, then the bottle (litre size) is packed almost to the top with sloe's that were collected at the weekend. Leaving enough room for a daily agitation for a week.
The other bottle got a half-litre of Aldi Gin, 150g of sugar and then it was filled to the top with sloes, again leaving enough room to agitate.
According to the recipes you are supposed to wait until after the first frost, but the trees are begging you to harvest now and many are so soft the break as soon as you pluck them. You can simulate first-frost by bunging them in the freezer.
In the end we collected almost 2lbs of sloes and used about 1.5lbs to fill the bottles.
Now we have to agitate the bottles daily to keep it all mixed up and the sugar from hiding at the bottom, then go weekly after the first week for a few months.
We are drinking a bottle that Claire's Dad started off in 2004 and it has matured in the bottle (it was in the Gilbey's bottle) and is the consistency of sherry... very tasty and sweet AND POTENT!