The sloes are best gathered after the first
are usually made into jams, jellies, syrups or conserves; not
forgetting sloe gin.
Sloes are rich in tannins, fruit acids and
The flowers can be made into a herbal tea with
depurative, diuretic and mildly laxative properties.
Sloe juice to
boost the appetite:
Wash the sloes, cover with boiling water, cover and leave to
stand for 1-2 days. Add 500 gms sugar to each litre of juice, simmer
gently to dissolve sugar and allow to cool. Take a tablespoonful before
Take equal weights of sloes, gin and sugar.
Prick or, with a sharp knife, make a small incision in each sloe. This
is tedious. Shortcut: bag the sloes and place in the deep-freeze. This
causes the berries to split.
Place treated sloes, gin and sugar in a container with a water-proof
lid or bung; a demijohn is ideal.
Shake every day until all the sugar is dissolved and occasionally
Be patient and resist the temptation to "sample". It will be fine.
Strain and bottle the following year just before you go out to pick the
next crop of sloes. The wait is worthwhile. It accentuates the
subtleties of flavours!