Bottlin’ up.  Scoring rather than pricking if you have lots and wish to remain sane.


  • 450g/1lb sloes
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 1 litre/1¾ pint gin

To do

  • Prick the tough skin of the sloes all over with a clean needle and put in a large sterilised jar.
  • Pour in the sugar and the gin, seal tightly and shake well.
  • Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week. Then shake once a week for two months.
  • The sloe gin will now be a beautiful dark red and ready to drink, although it will still improve with keeping.