From late February through out March and into April the early of blossom, blackthorn trees give display of clouds of snow-white flowers. We’ve planted hundreds of blackthorns in our hedges over the years. Not only do these trees provide a great habitat for the wildlife, they produce sloe berries in autumn. The sloes can be used to make the winter tipple of sloe gin or whisky.
Here’s a recipe; 500gr ripe sloes, 250gr caster sugar and 1 litre of gin (supermarkets cheapest is fine)
Rinse and pick over the sloes, dry and prick the sloes. Tip into a 2-litre storage jar.
Add the sugar and gin, then seal. Every day for seven days, give the jar a real good shake. Store the jar in a cool, dark place. Leave for two to three months.
Pour into clean, dry bottles through a sieve, then seal and label.
The sloe gin is now ready to drink. It will improve and mature over time, if possible, make it one year to drink the next. – You will struggle to do that as its very moreish!!!