I’ve been looking out for sloes all season with the anticipation of turning out a batch of Sloe Gin, but just haven’t discovered any. What I do have in bucket loads are plums (- when we moved into the house we must have taken down 2 dozen self-set plum trees and left the 2 most mature), and every season we spend a huge amount of effort raking up the fallen plums & throwing them on the compost heap. This year I had a plan – at least some of these plums would be put to good use, and if I couldn’t find any sloes, then surely a Plum Gin would be very similar?
Well, not quite. Unlike other liqueurs I’ve experimented with over the last few months, there is much less difference between the vodka and gin base, but the gin does provide a better complement to the plum flavours and is my favourite. What this liqueur does have is the most amazing aroma which is very much like almonds. I’m assuming comes from the plum stone kernels rather than the wife spiking my drinks with hydrogen cyanide…
At the end of the maceration process you’re left with a nice pile of plums which are still full of juice AND spirit. You can squeeze this out, but it will make your liqueur cloudy. Instead, why not through the fruit into a pan with some sugar, a couple of cloves & a cinnamon stick and cook down to create a wonderful plum sauce that makes a great base for a crumble!
Makes 900 ml
- 800g Plums
- 200g White Sugar
- 70cl Spirit (reasonable quality Vodka or Gin, 37.5% ABV min)
- Place the plums on a board and stab with a fork
- In a sterilized Kilner Jar, add the plums and sugar
- Pour over the spirit. Seal the jar and shake well
- Over the next 2-3 days, shake periodically until the sugar has dissolved, then store the jar in a dark cupboard for 3 months
- Strain the mixture through a muslin and check the sweetness – bottle up and add extra sugar if required. DON’T DISCARD THE PLUMS!
- Store for another month or more before drinking
Like the bottles? Check out the Italian range at my favourite suppliers!