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dried sloes (500g)
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Price: £5.49

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More info

These dried sloes can be used in sloe gin, sloe wine or other recipes where sloes would normally be used, but only half the weight is required (i.e. a 500g bag is equivalent to 1kg of fresh sloes). Sloe gin is a traditional Christmas drink, although it's a warming liqueur that can be enjoyed at any time of year! Sloe wine is a terrific, full-flavoured red wine, although it does need a long time to mature.

Sloe Gin recipe (makes 1 litre):

Ingredients

  • 250g dried or 500g fresh sloes
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 litre gin

How to make:

If using fresh sloes, pop them into the freezer for a few days. This will make them sweeter and also help to extract the maximum amount of flavour. Place the dried/frozen sloes into a 2 litre container and add the sugar, no need to defrost the sloes first. Pour in 1 litre of gin, place a lid on the container and shake vigorously for a few minutes. Give the container a shake every day for two weeks to a month, ensuring all the sugar as full dissolved. Then leave for a further 2-3 months to mature, before decanting. You may wish to filter the liquor to make it crystal bright, but it's not absolutely required.

Sloe wine recipe (makes 1 gallon / 4.5 litres)

Ingredients

How to make:

Finely chop up the raisins in a blender. Mash the sloes with a potato masher or end of a rolling pin, to break the skins. Place the sloes and raisins into a 5 litre fermentation bucket along with the ginger, if using. Add the sugar, citric acid, wine tannin and pour on 3 litres of boiling water, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Now add the red grape juice, red wine enricher and yeast nutrient. Allow the mixture to cool to 20-25°C, then add the yeast. Place a lid and airlock on the bucket and ferment on the pulp for 10 days, stirring daily.

After 10 days, strain the liquid into a clean, sterilised demijohn, topping up to 4.5 litres / bottom of the neck. Fit a bung and airlock and allow to ferment out. Once fermentation is complete, rack into a clean, sterile demijohn and allow to mature for up to one year, before bottling.