Sloe Gin

1lb/450g sloes 
3-4oz/85-115g sugar depending on how sweet you like it 
1btl (70cl) gin 
Few drops almond essence or 6 whole blanched almonds (optional) 

Although most recipes call for the sloes to be first pricked with a needle (or traditionally with the thorns of the bush) I find this most laborious and prefer to put them in the freezer (having washed them first), then once frozen allow them to defrost, this will burst the skins sufficiently to do the job.

Place the sloes in a suitable bottle or jar (I use kilner jars), sprinkle in the sugar then pour the gin over to cover the fruit, if you are using almonds or essence add this too. Seal and allow to macerate for a minimum of six months shaking the bottle occasionally for the first three months. 

Strain and bottle, the finished gin will now last for years. 

Hic ~ just to ensure that what I am telling you is no porky, I have just had a glass of ~ Hic, some that I made in 1995, Hic ~ it is now really rich and syrupy just like a great port, it still has a good colour too ~ Hic ~ bottoms up!

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