Sloe gin competition


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Rye News sloe gin competitions in 2020 and 2021 did not take place.

The competition is a social event that embraces the community spirit. If you have refrained from drinking all your 2019 or 2020 sloe gin, we look forward to welcoming you in 2022 to taste some of those extra-matured gins, as well as this year’s new brews.

October is the time to pick sloes which grow on blackthorn (prunus spinosa), bushes that you find in hedgerows. If you have never made sloe gin before, making it is slow but not laborious. There’s no cooking required, just patience as the sloes steep in the gin.


450g/1lb sloes
225g/8oz caster sugar
1litre/1¾ pint gin

Preparation method:

1. Prick the tough skin of the sloes all over with a clean needle and put in a large sterilised jar.
2. Pour in the sugar and the gin, seal tightly and shake well.
3. Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week. Then shake once a week for at least two months.
4. Strain the sloe gin through muslin into a sterilised bottle

This is not really a recipe, more just a loose set of instructions the nice thing about sloe gin it lends itself to some improvisation. Like freezing the sloes then hitting them with a hammer instead of pricking them.

We will be holding the judging in February / March 2022.

Image Credits: Dennis Leeds George .

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