Sloe Gin

I had a chance to try actual Sloe Gin recently and it’s really neat stuff. It’s not really ginny per se, at least as far as a martini is concerned. Sloes, which look like blueberries, apparently taste like plums.

The recipe is 750ml of gin, then a “bin of sloes”, then a “wine glass of sugar”.

If you’re saying “POST THE REAL RECIPE”, the point is there is no real recipe. Apparently the gin sits on this stuff for three months, and you’re supposed to turn it (as in, literally turn the bottle 360 degrees over it’s head) daily. Then at the end of three months the chemical process happens and it’s ready to decant and drink. After discussing the specifics, the “bin” is one carton of fruit (like a blueberry bin) and the “wine glass” is a standard 300ml or so wine glass. The sugar is what gets the flavor out of the berries, which also provide the water content. Since the gin is pretty high proof stuff, instead of infusing the berries with alcohol the sugar draws the water (and the flavor) out. Apparently there’s supposed to also be cinnamon or almond flavors in there, but to me it tasted like plums and a bit of a gin aftertaste.

That being said, I figured out I can use the same process on plums or berries and get the same effect. Also freezing the berries (old brewing trick) will make sure they’re beat up enough to release their juices. Done right and I’ll have berry gin by christmas. Apparently you can also age it for up to a year, but my gut says that with the alcohol in the gin, any further chemical reaction wouldn’t produce anything interesting. The sugar is stable and nothing is going to convert the sugar or berries into anything interesting due to the fact that the alcohol is going to infuse into them and sterelize the jug.

If I could get actual sloe berries (blackthorn berries), the gin is supposed to be made with a twig of the bush used to prick the berries sitting in the gin also. This is likely where the cinnamon/almond flavor is supposed to come from. Noted, but I think I’ll stick to freezing a box of blueberries and simply putting them into the gin to age along with that sugar.

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