Our sloe gin, which we now produce on a decent scale of about 50-60 litres each season came from a local company based at Eddlethorpe, near Malton called Sloe Motion. I was asked to do a few recipes for them with some photographs for a national magazine. Having plucked the sloes from the thorny hedgerows, on a dank and dismal morning, located somewhere near Castle Howard Estate, our reward was to be given two sacks of sloe berries which had been pre-picked and frozen (as this helps to produce the natural sugar of the fruit and also bursts the skins to release the flavour and colour). Using cheap gin arid a lot of sugar, the results were absolutely amazing, similar to syrupy cough medicine, but a lot more palatable.
Sloe Gin goes into our rich, dark chocolate mousse, game sauces and is used for cocktails to accompany terrines or plates of our own cured meats.
Wash, then freeze fruits, this will develop the natural sweetness and burst their skins to release their flavour, add the alcohol and sugar, mix thoroughly and pour into a large bottle or another suitable vessel. For the first few days tip and turn the bottles to ensure all the sugar is dissolved, then store out of sunlight and out of harm’s way!! Drink after approx 6 weeks at the earliest.