Fancy sipping some homemade Sloe Vodka this Christmas? It’s such an easy tipple to make. It is also a wonderful homemade food gift to give to your favourite people.
This homemade Sloe Vodka is growing my stash of home grown booze a treat!
It would seem that my Hedgecomber real foodies do love a boozy homemade treat. My alcohol-based recipes do go down well with you all! I can’t think why?! ;)
My blackberry flavoured vodka is still in the brewing phase, although it is now ready to strain (and taste test!).
And whilst our blackcurrants were an epic failure this year, I did still manage to lay down one lonely bottle of my homemade blackcurrant cassis for the darker months.
There’s something very olde worlde about cracking open a bottle of a hedgerow brew that you picked yourself to share with loved ones on a cold winters night. At the same time, keeping the best bottle from each batch, until it is somewhat dusty and forgotten is the ultimate foragers tax.
Homemade Sloe Vodka
In which case, let’s get you all sorted with this one! In case you want to brew up a batch of this homemade slow vodka yourself, the recipe simply couldn’t be any easier.
First up, you need to get your wellies on and hit the hedgerows.
When should you pick sloes?
Some folk say that you ‘should only pick sloes after the first frost’. As I live here in Cornwall (UK) where the climate tends to be quite mild, the sloe harvest is almost over by the time that comes around. The other option is to pick them and freeze them before using them. A quick check of the internet as to why this is recommended tells me that one theory is that it softens the skin which then splits and allows the juices to come out, the other is that freezing sloes makes their flesh sweeter.
When you know that you’re foraging for wild sloes, you’re looking for blackthorn bushes. They are pretty easy to spot at this time of year. They tend to have vicious little inch-long spikes on the branches, and clusters of black fruit that look like the ones in the photograph below:
There’s probably a reason not to use those wrinkly imperfect fruits, but I gather them all. Or at least all that I can reach.
3 simple steps to a sloe vodka recipe
I almost feel like I’m cheating when a recipe is this simple!
Combine your wild sloes with vodka and sugar in a jar. Store them for about a month. Then strain and store in sterilised bottles where they will sit happily until you can bear to break into your stash!
Sloes are part of the plum family, so inside that black skin with a whitish bloom, you’ll find an orangey-yellow flesh and a single flatish stone.
On getting your stash home, wash them well and dry in a clean tea towel. You ‘should’ pick sloes after the first frost, but frosts aren’t all that common down here in Cornwall, so I popped mine in the freezer until I was ready to make this quick video…
Freeze and/or prick the sloes to allow the juice out. Pile into one (or more) sterilised glass jars.
Tip in the sugar, pour in the vodka and stir a little.
Pop the lid on tightly and store somewhere cool and dark, stirring/shaking occasionally.
After 2-4 weeks, strain off the vodka and seal in sterilised bottles. The alcohol content means that it will keep indefinitely.