Last autumn, like a lot of other people, I went to collect some sloes to make my Sloe and Rosehip Gin. Just before Christmas I filtered and bottled it to give it as gifts to friends and family, and as a result, I had a lot of left over sloes and rosehips that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away. I did a bit of research and found a blog mentioning a Sloe Port recipe using left over sloes from Sloe Gin that it sounded exactly what I needed!
I put my sloes and rosehips (approx. 500g together) in a container withs 50g of sugar and poured a bottle of red wine over them. I shook it well till the sugar was dissolved and gave then a regular stir every few days. I let it sit for a month and a half in my cupboard and I have just filtered and bottled it this weekend. I was really pleased with the result and judging by how fast the bottle went down last Saturday night, I guess that my friends also appreciated it!
I discovered sloe gin quite recently, when I started to work for Taste the Wild last September. Chris and Rose have been making this quintessentially British drink for years and gave me their traditional recipe. Being French, this is not a traditional drink in my country, we do distil the sloes but to make strong schnapps in Alsace and in South West of France people use the leaves to make what is called “Vin d’épine” (Spike wine) or “Troussepinette” (no translation possible!). The Toussepinette is made in springtime using the very young and tender branches and leaves of blackthorn that are macerated in wine and schnapps for 21 days. Don’t ask me why 21 days, must be a magic number! The leaves add an almond-like flavour to the drink. So now you can use blackthorn twice a year to make your own flavoured wines!