The last of the sloes are ready to be gathered, if you haven’t made your sloe gin already.
Ideally, you want to leave your sloe gin for at least 3 months and it’ll be ready just in time for Christmas. However, the longer you leave it the better. Lucky for me, just as I was putting this year’s batch down in the cellar I found some for last year.
Taking advantage of some early fragrant quinces I found in my local Turkish shop, I came up with this combination. Lemon gives a bit of zing, while the cardamom brought out a richness and floral notes.
This drink is perfect for an autumn or winter evening.
Quince Goes Sloe
- 2 parts Sloe Gin
- 1 Green Cardamon Pod
- 1 part Quince Syrup
- ½ part Lemon Juice
- Soda to top
Muddle the cardamom pod in a cocktail shaker. Add gin, lemon juice and quince syrup. Shake and double strain into to a tumbler or high ball glass, add ice, top with soda.
Garnish with Blackberries.
- 1kg Quince, roughly chopped
- 175g Sugar
- 20g Honey
- 20ml Lemon Juice
- 450ml Water
Add all ingredients to a pan, bring to the boil. Once boiling turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes.
Strain and bottle (using a sterilised bottle).
In Autumn, gather sloes from a blackthorn hedgerow.
- 500g Sloes
- 750ml Bottle of gin
- Sugar to taste (25-50g)
Wash your sloes, and prick each one with a pin. Alternatively you can freeze the sloes overnight to break the skin.
Add the sloes, gin and sugar to a large mason (Kilner) jar. Seal the jar tightly, and leave for at least 6 months, though you can also leave this for much longer. Shake the jar whenever you remember to aid infusing.
Stain the sloes from the liquid and bottle.
If it’s the right time of year, or you happen to have any game in your freezer, you can pop a few of the left over sloes in a stew.