Being from Devon, the question of what to do with leftover sloes from sloe gin making has never really been considered a conundrum. Used sloes get dunked in cider and left until Easter in order that another bank holiday can be celebrated! The resulting drink, known as ‘Slider’ can be drunk neat, or as a long drink. It has been the culprit behind many a post-scuba headache during Easter dive training in Cornwall. Apparently, non-Devonians do things differently: dunking sloes in chocolate or scoffing with ice cream seem to be particular favourites. ”Allthatimeating.blogspot.co.uk” is Caroline Taylor’s: blog, which took sloes back to boozy basics. She posted a suggestion termed ‘sloe port’ (full link below).
My first reaction was
“well, it’s not exactly port”,
“I suppose it is fortified wine, of sorts”
“well, I have plenty of spare sloes; why not?!”!
Her recipe is simple:
1Kg used sloes
1x bottle red wine
Bung the used sloes in a bottle of wine for three months, add brandy and leave for another month. I’m not a wine buff so opted for a fruity mid-priced Shiraz, working on the put-rubbish-in get-rubbish-out principle. I marked the three month date on the calendar but then applied the ish-factor as I added too much brandy and taste tested when I remembered.
After the three months in wine, the sloes were ready for the addition of brandy. The liquid was a beautiful clear red wine colour: I thought it may have taken on a browner hue. The smell was very much of gin-soaked berries and I couldn’t taste the wine! The sloe flavour was evident as was an aftertaste of gin. I was surprised not to taste the wine, as the Shiraz used was fairly full and fruity, but put that down to my poor palette and carried on. I added 250ml of brandy then reread the blog to check maturation time and realised I’d added too much……whoops!
Events conspired to ensure the sloes were strained from the ‘port’ at the same time as the other pre-Christmas fruity booze: about a further two months in total. The final result was absolutely gorgeous; really fruity and smooth and a definite winner with everyone who stayed over at Christmas. On the initial taste test my husband couldn’t identify the base spirit but could still taste the sloe gin base.
After being quite cynical, I was really impressed with this drink. I will certainly make this again and stick to the brandy amount I added as the end result was so lovely. This really is a perfect winter warmer to savour in front of a roaring fire.
As promised here is the link to Caroline’s full blog link and her twitter ID