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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. richard

    Ah. The spirit of Christmas!

  2. Hi fn,

    The idea of a small bottle is appealing,might try that.I did think of using a freshly sliced orange and a handful of cranberries.Think I’ll try small amounts of both and see how it turns out…either way,it won’t be wasted!So that’s the port sorted.I might try the Grouse on a Christmas cake,just puncture the cake with a fine skewer,then let the spirit soak through…

  3. Hi all.I’ve won a bottle of Grouse and a bottle of ruby port…any ideas that connect either with sloes?

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Lesley

      Lucky you. Those are too good for sloes although, thinking about it – sloes and port could be a wow combination. No need to add sugar. You could try a small bottle. If you are brave and try this I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  4. Hi

    This link contains a couple of “recipes” i.e. suggested quantities for Slider (or Slyder)

    and here is a shop that sells it @17.5% alcohol

    I have never made this as I love the crispness of cyder and find fruit cyders too sweet. However…

    My thoughts would be to experiment. For example, when making Sloe gin and vodka, I do one lot with 4 oz sugar, one with 6 oz etc. I like it pretty dry – others like it sweeter. The thing is you can add sugar to taste at the end (but you can’t remove it so easily). You could of course “dilute it” with more alcohol or water or tonic water).

    So, if it were me, I would try quarter filling a jar with the sloe sludge, and top up with cyder. and then maybe another with an eighth, and then a half. It depends what you are trying to achieve in terms of strength and intensity of flavour. Don’t forget to label which is which so you can make it to your taste next time.

    When it is ready – you can see which you prefer! – and of course you could either mix in more cyder or add a slug of sloe gin/vodka.
    That should be an interesting and enjoyable evening!

    And you have inspired me – I now need to go and pick some sloes which have now been frosted. I know where they are!
    Here we go again!!

  5. hiya lesley,does the white rum taste the same as bacardi,i like a drop of the lamb,s navy,,just been upstairs and had a sneak taste,it,s comeing on great,daughter loves it,so does the wife,a bit sweet for her,found some small sloes near me,so will have to pick a few in the morn when i walk the pup,as only got 3lb left to play with,found a new recipe on a hunting forum,sound,s good so going to try that in the morn,bakeing the sloes with the sugar,into a syrup,then adding the vodka,which i am useing,have a 1lb in the fridge now,took em out the freezer today,ready,good fun this,still need a recipe for slider,will keep looking,well of for some more reading,,ian

  6. Hi Ian,I use asda white rum (as opposed to more expensive Baccardi)and it works well.1 Ltr rum,1 lb sloes,washed and pricked and 8oz soft dark brown sugar.try a taste after a few weeks and add more sugar if it’s not sweet enough.Enjoy,Mrs Ian!

    AAlso,I’d write down what’s in each jar,because of the length of time all your lovely liquids are standing.I have a tendancy to forget…nowt to do with all tha sampling!

  7. hiya,some cracking idea,s on here,have me 3 bottles on the go at the mo,1 with normal demerea sugar.1 with dark demerea sugar(look,s very dark in the bottle)and 1 with castor,still got 3lb of sloes left,so any rum recipes,and a recipe for cider,(slider),as the youngest loves his cider,and allso,any idea,s for bacardi,the wife likes that,cant wait to get some more cooking,enjoy your tipple,,ian

  8. Hiya I’m new to this site. I’ve really enjoyed reading all your comments and am going to be trying out some new recipes. If I have a few of the last blackberries what would people recommend I do with them – Vodka or Gin or Brandy Also recipe please? Thanks

  9. That’s the best option…keep tasting!Enjoy…

  10. Thanks Lesley, I could try both options I have more Sloes frozen But think I’l add more gin !! lol….It will be an enjoyable experiment …!

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