Go grab yourself some sloes and have a go at these two different concoctions of this deliciously sweet and beautifully coloured liqueur. Drink as you would a liqueur at the end of a meal or mix with tonic water, lots of ice and make an unusual red coloured delicious tasting sloe gin and tonic. You can substitute the gin for vodka if you prefer. You will need 2 sterilised 700ml jars with a secure top. ( Kilner style jars work well for this )
  • 700g ripe sloes
  • 350g granulated or caster sugar
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, cut into chunks and bashed with a rolling pin
  • 5 star anise
  • 7 strips of orange rind
  • 6 strips of lemon rind
  • 600-700ml good quality gin
  1. Wash the sloes and pull off any stalks. Dry lightly in a clean tea towel.
  2. Divide the sloes evenly between the two jars.
  3. Add the lemon grass and lemon rind to one jar and the star anise and orange zest to the other jar.
  4. Divide the sugar in half and spoon it into the jars.
  5. Top up the jars with gin.Seal the jars.
  6. Store in a cool dark place ( I do this after a week, as I like to look at them sitting on a shelf in the kitchen for pleasure! ) and invert regularly to help dissolve the sugar. Add a little extra gin to top up the jars if necessary.
  7. Keep for 6 months ( if you can! ) before straining the liquid from the sloes and spices and pour into sterilised bottles, seal and label.
  8. Its ready to drink after 6 months but you can keep it for longer if you have the will power, I don't!
Recipe by Jo Clark Cooking etc at