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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. brendan moss

    In August 2009 i made some damson vodka which i forgot until last month. I filtered and bottled it and it is not very nice. It smells and tastes musty.Does anyone know a recovery process eg add more sugar or more fruit or what?

  2. Hi SuzieP
    Re – Limoncello

    I love the lemony idea, but am trying to reduce sugar – unless already converted into alcohol!! I might try it with less sugar – have you ever tried that?

    Do you really freeze the bottles? does the drink not freeze as well?

  3. Hi – I have made my sloe gin and am happily turning that every other day. I am also making LIMONCELLO this year as well and thought I’d share the recipe. Pour 750 ml of grain alcohol or vodka into a sterile bottle. Peel the rind off 10 small lemons & add to alcohol. Put in a cool dark place for 2 weeks, shaking regularly so that the lemony oils come out from the strips of peel. After 2 weeks, bring 600ml of water to a boil. Add 2 large mugs of sugar & boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Strain rinds from alcohol. Pour sugar mixture into alcohol. Bottle and freeze. Serve over ice.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello SuzieP

      Wow your limoncello recipe sounds amazing. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe 🙂

  4. Hi Leone.

    If you look at my previous message, not too far back, I made some chocs and they were delicious. I didn’t follow a recipe. Just added chocolate to the fruit as required. I didn’t put mine in a mould but in small cases.

    I am also going to do SLIDER again this year. Mixing the sloes from whatever liquer with a good cider. I gave this as a present to my connoiseur cider drinking friend and she loved it.

  5. Leone Evrenos

    I made some more sloe vodka this year as lasts years was divine!! However, I would like to make some liqueur chocolates with the strained and stoned sloes but cannot find a recipe how to do this. Also I was informed by a chocolate mould seller that the alcohol stopped the chocolate from setting! can anyone out there give me some advice? or a recipe! I want to make them with plain choc.

  6. What a great website. Just made my first every blackberry brandy and was looking for some more ideas. Roll on tomorrow – I can see this weeks shopping consisting of vodka and gin.

  7. Just a quick note on the Damson Jack (see above)

    The reason this is ready to bottle/drink that much quicker is because you don’t want to lose the distinctive flavour of the jd.

    My advice is to try at week 1,2,3 and 4 to see which you prefer. You can also add sugar to your taste in these tasting sessions.

    I find end of week two my personal favourite.

    Would love to know if everyone likes this as much as I do??

  8. I am still making my drink by putting drink and sloes or other fruits into a container and then straining it through muslin and re bottling it. I haven’t tried to make it into a bottle yet. Im ready to make some more sloe vodka so may try this method.
    My query is that when you pour out the vodka to drink will it be all murky? Thats why i strain mine first.

    The Jack Daniels all ready in a week sounds devine! so quick!

    And thanks . I think its time I bought a decent book to identify all the berries. Im sure Im missing out on some good finds. Many thanks to all x

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Maggie

      Our sloe vodka, made in vodka bottles is not all murky. There is a small amount of residue at the bottom of the bottle but nothing to worry about.

      A decent foraging book is a great investment!

  9. Just thought I’d share my find with you all…

    Damson Jack.

    Damsons and Jack Daniels is to die for. Make like Damsons gin or vodka, not too much sugar to start with about 100-120g in a 75cl bottle. Half full bottle of Jack, add sugar and fill to brim with Damsons.

    Can be drunk from a week onwards… I kid you not.(although I’ve found 1 month to be the ideal if you slit the Damsons to get them in the neck of the bottle)

    I tried this as a dare when making Damsons vodka… on my third years production now!!!

  10. You need to be *really* careful, there is a lot of bryony about this year and yes, they are appealing little bunches of red berries.

    Off hand I can’t think of any round red wild berry that isn’t something obvious like a wild cherry (and you won’t see many of those once they ripen) that isn’t inedible -> poisonous.

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