A scarlet nectar with more than a whiff of Miss Marple about it. This was made with sloes from Hackney Marshes and is now a little over a month old - I'm hoping it comes of age just in time for drinking out of tea cups at Christmas time.
1 litre of good quality gin
8oz caster sugar
1) Wash the sloes well and dry completely, then use a clean, sterilised needle to prick every fruit all over. This does take a while, but it's a bit like podding peas - rather relaxing and zen once you get into the rhythm of it.
2) Pour the sloes, gin and sugar into a large glass jar or wide-necked bottle (with a funnel) and leave in a dark, cool place to mature. Give it a little shake twice a week for the next three months. At this point it's ready to drink, though it will improve with age.