Making sloe gin is unexpectedly easy as it only requires the bottling of the sloes with a little sugar, and then storing for a few months. Making wine (fermenting), and beer (brewing) is much more susceptible to complications for beginners. 

Here is the the very simple sloe gin recipe. Click on the small buttons above to print, or to email a friend.

Pick your sloes from blackthorn hedges in October or November when they are most ripe - traditionally after the first frosts.

Then ... for one empty 1 litre bottle:

  • add approx 400g sloes (to occupy about half the bottle). Remember to cut or prick the sloes before bottling.
  • add approx 150g ordinary white sugar (this is about a wine goblet in volume).
  • top-up with gin (about 500ml).

If you leave a small space for air in the neck of the bottle you'll find mixing the contents, to dissolve the sugar, easier! Just turn the bottle occasionally for the first few days, whenever you're passing. Then leave in a cool cupboard for a few months (still with the occasional mixing of the contents).

Quantities and times etc are NOT critical!
ENJOY making your sloe gin and, if in doubt, keep it SIMPLE!

Now go to the forum for more tips and advice ... like when to remove the sloes? ... why wait for first frosts? ... what make the best containers? ... Can sloes be found in Arizona? - and so on.

Go to the FORUM for the answers to all of your questions!


All the essential ingredients: sloes, gin, sugar ... and an Ordnance Survey map for locating those small country lanes and paths! photo © Brian Donnan.