Sloe Gin


To fill a 70cl bottle

  • 250g of Sloe berries
  • 100g of Sugar
  • Fill to the top with Gin (about 440g).
  • A couple of drops of Vanilla or Almond Essence (optional)

Adjust the amount of sugar to taste.

To fill a 1 litre bottle

  • 340g of Sloe berries
  • 140g of Sugar
  • Top up with 630g of Gin

To fill a 5 litre demi john

  • 1.7kg of Sloe berries
  • 700g of Sugar
  • Top up with 4 bottles of Gin


  1. Wash the sloes, discarding bruised or rotten fruit.
  2. Prick each fruit a few times (so their flavour will be released). I use a cheap plastic fork, which is sharp, and I can pierce 2 holes in two fruit in one go. You can freeze the sloes, instead of pricking them.
  3. Get a bottle of cheap gin. Drink half the bottle to make space for the other ingredients ;-)
  4. Add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Label the bottle with ingredients and the date.
  6. Shake the bottle once a day for a week, then once ever week for a few months.
  7. Store in a dark place for 3 to 12 months. It will loose its colour if left in the light.
  8. If you wish, after three months, you can strain and re-bottle it, then let it mature for several more months. If you wish to keep for more than one year, straining and re-bottling is essential. I used to use muslin cloth, but now I use a cafetiere.


Recycle the Sloes. If you drink (or strain) after 3 months, then you can add medium sherry to the sloes, and start the process all over again.

There are lots more alcoholic delights at The Cottage Smallholder.

Nalin thought that 2012's batch with 100g of sugar was too syrupy. I thought it was perfect.

Gave Mum a bottle of Brandy for help picking the sloes, and used 250g Sloes, 100g Sugar, and topped off the rest of a 750ml bottle with Brandy.

Favourite Sloe Locations

Here's a map of places where I've picked sloes.