Now don’t panic everyone, but at the time of this article being published, it is just under 13 weeks until Christmas Day! But no fear, we have a great present idea that you can start putting into action right now, ready to give to your friends and family this festive season: homemade sloe gin! It’s easy to make, but takes a minimum of 2 months to mature – giving you only 1 month to spare before the big day! But how do you make sloe gin? Well, the first thing you will need to do is pick your sloes!
When Is Picking Season?
Sloes are ripe for picking at the start of autumn, so you can pick them right now! But what do they look like?
Sloes are small berries that grow on blackthorn bushes, which look like little plum trees that are easily identifiable by their slightly jagged leaves and long black thorns. The sloes look like little plums that turn almost black when they are ripe. But remember – if you’re not certain whether the berry you have picked is a sloe, make sure to check the berries you’ve picked against images online.
How Do I Make Sloe Gin?
Make sure to throughly wash your sloes before using them in any recipes. You never know what little bugs and bits of dirt have found their way into them! Many people online have suggested that you leave them to soak in freezing cold water for around 10 minutes, which helps all the unwanted objects float to the surface that you can then siphon off and dispose of. Now on to the good bit…
To make homemade sloe gin, you only need 3 simple ingredients:
- Caster Sugar
Take your freshly picked sloes and leave them in the freezer overnight. This will break the skin on the berries which releases their natural sweetness that will infuse into your gin. Take your frozen berries and fill an airtight container of your choice to around the halfway point, then fill up the rest with a gin of your choice. Just be warned, cheap gin can produce cheap tasting sloe gin. Finally you need to add around 2 spoonfuls of caster sugar, give the bottle a shake and leave it in a safe place out of direct sunlight for a minimum of 2 months. We advise changing the position of the container every few weeks (from upright to horizontal) in order to make sure that the sloes are fully immersed in all parts of the gin mixture. After 2 months the sloe gin will be ready to drink, but the beauty of this beverage is that it tastes even better the longer you leave it! Some people leave theirs for years and claim that the texture and taste is as smooth as silk.
So if you make your sloe gin this month, you will have the perfect homemade Christmas presents to give out to friends and family this December! Simply siphon out the sloe gin into individual bottles, add personalised labels and enjoy the look on people’s faces when they see it!
Perfect Sloe Gin Bottles
Luckily for you, here at Ampulla we have plenty of suitable bottles for sloe gin. We recommend using a glass bottle to gift your gin in, as they look posh and feel sturdy. Remember – we have no minimum order quantity so you can order as little as 1 or as many as thousands if you so wish!
Our range of Polo Bottles come in a range of sizes and have heavy, thick glass bases that give them an air of quality and make them very difficult to knock over. They even come with cork caps for a really traditional, rustic look that suits sloe gin down to the ground. These bottles come in sizes that start from 250ml and go up to 700ml.
Swing top bottles are another throwback to the old days, with the faceted glass bodies of some of the models looking like they were produced many decades ago. Each swing top bottle comes with a ceramic stopper that is attached to the bottle with a metal clasp. This stopper provides an airtight seal, but best of all they simply look fantastic! Sizes range from 100ml up to 1 litre.
Finally if you want something different to a bottle, why not use a tall, airtight jar? Our Le Parfait Jars are the perfect alternative, with attractive French design and distinctive orange rubber seals that lock in all the goodness of your gin. These jars range from a small 500ml right up to a large 2 litres! This makes them great for presenting individual servings of gin for gifts and big sharing servings for the whole family.
Liked our guide to making sloe gin? Then we think you’ll love our ideas on how to achieve a vintage style with your brand!