Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Discuss sloe gin recipes - and all those secret family variations! Post your questions and replies here if they are about sloes and gin

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smallblueplanet
Posts: 6
Joined: 01 Oct 2010, 16:57

Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by smallblueplanet » 24 Oct 2013, 18:34

Saw this blog post tweeted a while back, but in time for making sloe gin. They describe making sloe gin firstly without sugar and when the sloes have steeped in the gin add the sugar or sugar syrup.

http://www.sipsmith.com/blog/articles/h ... t-sloe-gin

Has anyone made their sloe gin like this. Can you taste a difference between this and the more standard recipe of gin, sloes and sugar all at once?

SWLondoner
Posts: 33
Joined: 28 Sep 2011, 19:04

Re: Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by SWLondoner » 04 Nov 2013, 13:46

I was brought up a stones throw from Sipsmiths and I do love their gin.

However this is complete rubbish if you ask me. My guess is they are saying this to make their mass produced sloe gin seem authentic.

A) Fresh sloes will always be better than frozen - the freezing process can damage some of the cells and have an effect on flavour
B) The sugar going in at the same time combines all the flavours from the onset. If using sugar syrup, why not just mix gin, juice and sugar syrup...you could call it a....cocktail!
C) Branded sloe gin is never going to be as good as homemade, no matter what they try and say
D) Whilst you don't want to use bargain bin gin, using Sipsmith would be a waste of great gin and money!

Just my humble opinion...

steamerduck
Posts: 2
Joined: 11 Nov 2013, 09:15

Re: Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by steamerduck » 11 Nov 2013, 11:53

I am not sure I completely agree with SWLondoner.

I have taken the approach of freezing sloes and instead of going through the pricking process (I am a lazy sod) with good results. I am pretty sure that the reason for pricking is just to let the sloe innards mix with the gin. Freezing and thawing causes the the skins of the sloes to rupture and seems to have much the same effect.

I certainly agree with Sipsmith that there is nothing worse than overly sweet gin so it makes sense to be cautious on sugar at the outset and topping up to taste later.

NickRich
Posts: 1
Joined: 13 Feb 2014, 10:29

Re: Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by NickRich » 13 Feb 2014, 17:19

I read the Sipsmith blog and tried their method (no sugar) in early November. I recently bottled my first lot and added sugar, then a bit more to try to overcome the sloe sourness, but not make it too sweet. The end result seems reasonable, but maybe not as nice as I've made in previous years using the normal method of adding sugar at the start. It needs longer in the bottle too probably.

Having since read that sugar should be added at the start to aid the extraction of flavour, I've now added a modest amount of sugar to my remaining jars with the idea of leaving them for another couple on months and then bottling / adding more sugar if needed.

So I have no idea if I'm doing the right thing or not here. Time will tell I suppose.

ChrisR
Posts: 14
Joined: 19 Mar 2015, 15:20

Re: Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by ChrisR » 19 Mar 2015, 19:19

I made my first sloe gin in 2014 and I chose to add 75g of sugar per 1-litre jar (half-filled with fruit) at the start and then test the results at the bottling stage - adding extra sugar where necessary. Sloe gins in my experience taste best with 150g of sugar in 70cl of liquid - as per Brian's recipe on the homepage. The advantage of topping the sugar up at the bottling stage is that you can allow for variations in the batch (fruit & duration in the jar) and in the sweetness of different makes of gin. In 2015 I will try adding 150g at the start and see whether it makes any difference. :)

From what I can see of Sipsmith's recipe it's really just the view of a mass producer - simplifying the process and then balancing the blend and sweetness at the end, which is fine if you are making gallons of the stuff, but not really necessary if you are doing it at home. Caster sugar also dissolves well after a few shakes so it isn't necessary to use syrup.

simoncarter
Posts: 14
Joined: 13 Oct 2007, 14:32
Location: London

Re: Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by simoncarter » 29 Oct 2015, 17:12

Best sloe gin I've made and the way I always make it now after trying various ratios and additions (coffee beans, cloves, almonds...) is just to keep it simple: fill an empty bottle with sloes, top up with gin and leave until Christmas then add a little sugar to taste if necessary. End result has always been slightly thicker and more syrupy than most SGs and extremely tasty, I prefer my sloe gin quite tart so sometimes don't add sugar if the sloes were particularly ripe and juicy.
Last edited by simoncarter on 29 Oct 2015, 17:22, edited 1 time in total.

simoncarter
Posts: 14
Joined: 13 Oct 2007, 14:32
Location: London

Re: Sloe gin the Sipsmith way?

Post by simoncarter » 29 Oct 2015, 17:17

Just read the sipsmith notes and agree completely regarding no initial sugar, picking when ripe, freezing to break down cell walls and no need to prick the skins. All sensible advice.

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