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Superb sloe vodka recipe

Sloe vodka slowly maturing in glass bottles

Sloe vodka on day one

We have found that most fruit recipes work equally well with gin or vodka. With a few exceptions. Raspberry gin is sublime and dessert gooseberry vodka is to kill for. Their cousins, Raspberry vodka and dessert gooseberry gin are companiable and gluggable but not the super stars of the cocktail cabinet.

We traditionally always make sloe gin. Lots of it. This year I has so many sloes that I decided to give sloe vodka a whirl. A litre of vodka made two 750ml bottles of grog. One for the cellar and one for testing and tasting.

I need to clear a space on the shelves in the barn to put our sloe gin and vodka out of reach. When I do this, it matures quietly, without being disturbed. I haven’t had time to do his so our kitchen side looks like a sloe liqueur drinker’s paradise. It has also had an impact on using the toaster which sits behind the bottles and jars. A careful, crane like movement is needed to operate the toaster.

Late one night, I spotted the sloe vodka on the kitchen side and thought that I’d have a teeny taste. It was wonderful. Clean, crisp, punchy and absolutely delicious. It was barely three weeks old. Made with the sloes that I picked from John’s garden on October 27th.

I had another toot the next night and then waved the bottle in front of Danny’s nose. Then other visitors were introduced to this ambrosia. Reviews were good and glasses refilled.

I am ashamed to announce that our tasting bottle is almost finished but delighted that I tried sloe vodka this year. I hate to admit it but I think that sloe vodka is better than sloe gin.

I had a 800g of sloes in the freezer so Jalopy and I rumbled over to Tesco on Saturday and bought an extra large bottle of medium priced vodka. Made 2 x 75ml bottles as per the above recipe and was left with 570ml of vodka. I added the remaining sloes (336g) and topped up with just over a kilo of sugar. This will produce the really ‘thick’ sloe liqueur that loads of our friends adore. This is the bottle in the photo with the white label. The label is actually the sugar -scary stuff! If we have a super party and a tasting, the sugar lovers will not be left out for years, as they have been in the past. We like the sharp taste of our grog. This bottle will be for sweet toothed visitors only.

If you still have access to sloes try our recipe. You won’t regret it.

I will report back on how the thick sugar solution sloe vodka develops in a few months time!

Superb sloe vodka recipe
Recipe Type: Liqueur
Author: Fiona Nevile
  • 1poud / 500gm of washed sloes
  • 4 ounces / 112gm of white granulated sugar
  • 2 empty 75cl vodka bottles
  • 1 litre of medium quality vodka such as supermarket own brands
  1. Wash sloes well and discard any bruised or rotten fruit. Prick fruit several times with a fork and place sloes half the sloes in each bottle. I put several sloes in my palm to prick them rather than picking them up one by one.
  2. Using a funnel, add the sugar and top up with gin to the rim. Always open sugar bags over the sink as sugar tends to get caught in the folds at the top of the bag.
  3. Shake every day until the sugar is dissolved and then store in a cool, dark place until you can resist it no longer (try to leave for at least three months, we usually let it mature for a year. As you can see from above it was overwhelmingly moreish at three weeks).
  4. Some people strain the grog (through muslin/jelly bag) after 3 months and bottle it, leaving it mature for six months. We will strain and bottle any that’s left after six moths as I want to try making sloe sherry and slider (farmhouse cider and gin/vodka soaked sloes as recommended into the comments section of our sloe gin posts). Don’t leave the straining process longer than a year; leaving the fruit in too long can spoil the liqueur.

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  1. j manston

    were do you get sloes from and when and can you bye them if you cant pick them and were do you bye them thanks

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rob

    I’ve added almond essence to sloe gin and will try it in vodka next year.

    Love to hear how the blueberry vodka works out!

  3. Hi all, trying these ideas out, someone also said to add a tiny bit of almond essence to the sloe vodka!

    Just trying blueberry for a giggle, so far so good cant wait….anyway thx for the recipes

    happy sipping :o)

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi James,

    Cherries! I haven’t though about using them in a vodka liqueur…

    Thanks for the tip.

  5. How delicious. You’re right about varying the fruit. I’ve only just discovered this by accident. When some people cancelled because they got stuck in the floods, I put the cherries which I had stoned ready for the duck into some vodka because I thought it might preserve them for using them again. I don’t know about preserving, but the vodka’s pretty tasty. Sugar! Now that’s what it’s been missing…..

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Richard,

    Don’t do this unless you have gallons of the stuff!

    After just three weeks the feedback for the sloe vodka was 100%. We do have more. 2 (vintage 5 week old bottles) and a vast swathe of newly made grog. It’s hands off for a while!

  7. Now you’re tempting me to try my damson vodka I made back in September… It calls to me often, but I’m trying not to taste it until the New Year – maybe I’ll just sneak a little taste tonight…

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Celia,

    I love making these fruit liquers. By finding the time is always the problem. The giant vodka bottle was knocking around in the kitchen for about a week before it was used!

    Hi Anne,

    I don’t like the really sugary thick sloe gin (or Vodka)so this one with a kilo of sugar is just for friends with a really sweet tooth.

    It’s potent stuff!

  9. anne waller

    wow, that is a lot of sugar!
    i have sampled my various concoctions recently and have added more sugar to them – shouldn’t have bought such cheap spirits – but i was not brave enough to add THAT much.
    the sampling should have been done on seperate days – i ended up going to bed early feeling just a little squiffy! yum, yum.

  10. The sloes from the blackthorn in our garden are destined for sloe vodka. I’m looking forward to it . . . but the sloes are still in the freezer and there are 2 large bottles of vodka still sitting on the kitchen table (and getting strange questioning looks from visitors!).
    I must get the ‘sloe-vodka-meister’ to get his act together – then maybe I’ll get to sample it in 2008!

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