The sloes this year were just so plump and black I was almost tempted to pop one in my mouth just to see if they were any sweeter than usual. But luckily, once you have experienced the mouth puckering dryness of a sloe, you don't want to go there again in a hurry, so I held back, knowing that I would find out just how good they were after they had been macerated in Gin for a few months. Some of these sloes were even a little sun dried, like a small soft prune - I am very excited about this year's sloe Gin!
I'm not going to give a separate recipe from the Crab Apple Brandy one below. But I must mention, that you don't need to check this and take out the sloes until you are ready to try it in a couple of months. You can even leave the sloes in for up to a year if you have that much will power! Add a little more sugar to start with than for apples, but not too much, you can always sweeten it later using some more sugar sprinkled in and left for a week to dissolve, or using a simple homemade sugar syrup.
When you do finally bottle this after 3-6 months, try pouring in a bottle or two of sherry and leaving for another few months. You have to like sherry of course, but this does make a lovely after dinner drink too.
Posted by Naomi Devlin