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How to Make Sloe Gin

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Sloe Gin is an absolutely delicious and very underrated drink. I was given a bottle of home-made sloe gin last year and found myself enjoying a small night-cap of the stuff on more than one occasion, it is also very delicious after a nice meal as an alternative to port. It is very easy to make and the end of September to early November is the perfect time to make it, as there are lots of sloes on the trees. The sloe is also known as Prunus spinosa or the blackthorn.
What you'll need: 
450g Sloes
8oz Caster Sugar
1 Litre Gin
Needle
Sterilised Jar
1: 
It is recommended that you wait to pick your sloes until after the first frost of Autumn, it is reckoned that the frost makes the bitter fruits taste milder. If you pick your sloes before the frost you can put them in the freezer for a couple of hours instead. Make sure they thaw out before you continue.
2: 
Wash the sloes and remove any twigs, leaves and other unwanted bits. Use the needle to prick the skins of the fruit all over and place them in your sterilised jar.
3: 
Pour the sugar into the jar with the sloes, some people use a proportion of 2:1 sloes to sugar.
4: 
Pour in the gin and seal the container tightly. Now give it a good shake.
5: 
Store the sloes steeped in gin in a cool, dark cupboard and return to them to give them a shake once a week or so.
6: 
After 3 months you can strain them and the liquid is ready to drink. The sloes are also edible but very alcoholic!
7: 
Pour yourself a nice Sloe Gin and enjoy!
Tips: 
The leftover sloes can be added to any game casseroles.
Warnings: 
Please drink responsibly!

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