Sloe Gin (or damson or plum)

Whilst rummaging for the crab apple and rose hip jelly recipes in Mum’s compendium of recipes, I came across the Sloe Gin, as previously mentioned in the Cumquat Gin recipe post.

SLOE GIN or Damson or Plum

sloes-11-10-09An equal weight of sloes, plums or damsons.
& Sugar
& Gin
(about 1.5 pints to 1lb fruit = that’s equivalent 1litre to 600g fruit, I think)

Prick fruit all over with a needle and place in a wide necked jar with an equal weight of sugar.

Fill jar within an inch of the top with gin. Seal tightly.

Shake every few days till sugar is dissolved. Then leave for at least 3 months before drinking. (I suggest about 6-12 months minimum.)

Strain & bottle & use fruit for flavouring ice-cream, a dessert mousse or topping a cheesecake.

If you live in Australia – and have no idea what I’m talking about re ‘sloes’ – you can buy a commercial version made by Sipsmith. And for those of you making your own (always better and ‘healthier’ to do so), you will raise the bar of your Sloe Gin if you use a good quality gin like Hendricks or Sipsmith, but it’s likely that Tesco’s best will do.Sloe Gin


[Photo of sloes courtesy of a great post by war time housewife ]

Cumquat Gin

This is so easy to make but the hard part is waiting for it to be ready – anywhere from 6 months to 16 years!

2015-Sep-Preserves021Wash cumquats. Prick with a fork and place in a Kilner jar or jam them into a clean gin or whisky bottle. Fill almost to top. Add sugar (raw organic) to fill approx one third of the container. Top up with gin. Secure lid. Shake rattle and roll to dissolve the sugar and set aside.

For the first couple of weeks, give the jar or bottle a roll to mix things up each day. (I’ve heard that some people put them in the boot of their car to roll about! Wouldn’t want them to break tho’!). After that, put away in a dark cupboard and forget about them for at least 6 months.


It may be possible to hasten the process by boiling the cumquats in sugar and water for about 15 minutes, cool and then add the gin. I haven’t tried this yet but I will when the next batch of windfalls arrive at my door.

Also, I’ve read that some people prefer to peel the rind from the cumquats, being careful to avoid the bitter pith as this makes a better, richer flavour. If you have the patience, give it a go. I prefer ‘quick and easy’.

I haven’t made sloe gin but I think similar approach probably works – prick with a cocktail stick, add sugar and gin. Mum also used to intoxicate plums in brandy.

As always let me know how you get on and if you have any other recipes and tips.