Last weekend we had some beautiful bright, crisp weather – blue skies, sunshine and lovely autumn colours.  Mr Rigg, Buddy and I walked to our local woodland in search of sloes to make sloe gin.

Armed with baskets we headed to the first spot I knew of – however, someone else had thought it was a good day for picking sloes so we carried on to the second patch I knew of and thankfully we found quite a number of them.

Picking sloes is a long slow process.  They are small and dotted along branches that are armed with long thorns to prick your fingers.  With the weather so lovely we were in no hurry, so pushed our way into the bushes picking off the fruits.

When we had picked what we could we headed into the woods in search of more bushes.  We had almost given up when we came across three good bushes where we picked the remainder of our haul.

At home we discovered we had picked 1.6kg of sloes!  We had only wanted about 400g…oops!  With a couple of bottles of gin and granulated sugar we started to make our sloe gin.  Sat in front of the Grand Prix we pricked every sloe multiple times with a pin, then we measured them into bottles and topped up with the sugar and gin. 

We followed Darina Allen’s recipe for Sloe Gin from her Forgotten Skills of Cooking – to 700g of sloes use 350g granulated sugar and 1.2 litres of gin.  Once bottled, seal tightly and store in a dark place, turning every couple of days to start with, then every couple of months.

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