During the late autumn, sloes may be freely collected from the hedgerows of Europe. This means Sloe Gin is not only delicious to taste and simple to make but also comparatively inexpensive.
1 lb. sloes, trimmed and washed
2 pints gin
4 oz. sugar -|- teaspoon almond essence
Using a large needle, prick the sloes all over and place them in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the gin and mix well. Add the sugar and almond essence and stir well to blend.
Pour the mixture into a large jug or crock and cork it tightly. Set the jug or crock aside in a dark place and allow the mixture to infuse for 3 months, shaking the jar or crock occasionally.
Wash and thoroughly dry two bottles. Uncork the jug or crock and pour the mixture through a funnel lined with very fine cheesecloth into the bottles, squeezing any pulp remaining in the cheesecloth with your hands to extract the liquid.
Discard the pulp.
Seal the bottles and set them aside for at least 6 months before drinking.