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Sloe berries in a jam jar with gin poured over the top and sugar settled at the bottom

Homemade sloe gin

For a non-alcoholic alternative, try this sloe berry cordial recipe, which you can use in mocktails or just as a tasty daytime drink.

When should I pick sloe berries?

Sloe berries are generally available from September onwards but many people wait to pick them after the first frost of winter, (late October to early November) as the frost can soften the skins slightly and help release the juices. After foraging and picking them, sloe berries are traditionally pricked with a thorn taken from the blackthorn bush on which they grow.


  • 70cl unflavoured gin
  • 500g sloe berries
  • 250g sugar

You will also need a 1.5l jar and a muslin cloth.


Plums growing
Step 1

Pick over your sloe berries to remove any stems and put them in the freezer for a minimum of 24 hours.

Step 2

Pop your sloe berries into an airtight, wide-mouthed jar, enough to fill half way.

Step 3

Add the sugar and then pour in your unflavoured gin to the top. Seal the jar.

Step 4

Keep in a dark place for 3 months, making sure to turn your homemade sloe berry gin a few times.

Step 5

When ready to taste, strain the mixture through a muslin cloth and into a clean bottle, and it’s good to go!

Try your homemade sloe gin with a bit of ice, or add a little prosecco to make a sloe gin fizz!