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Where can I find sloes around south-east, even Hampshire - my friend and I always used to find zillions on Tooting Bec Common but this year there are none - oh woe - no sloe gin this year unless someone can point us in the right direction?
Hi, just readiong about the lack of sloes this year. I am just about to go out and find some . Wish me luck. Does any one now a sloe berrie cake recipe i have heard about it but i do not know wear to find the recipe from ? HELP
I,too, haven't been able to find many sloes this year My hunting ground is the South Downs which is very close to my home & is covered with Blackthorn. I have abandoned the project of making sloe gin for this Christmas.Sad!
My family home is in Suffolk. Every year,in October, we would go sloe picking to make Sloe Gin. We use a recipe handed down to my father by a game keeper from his childhood. One year we experimented with different amounts of sugar - one bottle of cheap gin, fill with pricked & washed sloes. Adding the sugar, we tried 4oz (very tart) 6oz (my favourite, as I like it with a tart flavour) 8oz (medium sweetness only a little tart back flavour,) 10oz and you are in cough medicine country! Top up with the gin. Put in a dark cool place - shake occasionally. You can drink at 3 months but the longer you leave it the 'rounder' it gets. I try and make some each year and do prefer to strain it through some muslin and rebottle for clarity. You can use the gin soaked sloes in anything to do with chocolate. Yum yum! You get some get 'vintages' if you can bear to leave the odd bottle from year to year! Since I have moved to the North east it hasnt been so easy to spot the sloes so I have not made any for ages. This has inspired me to go walk about to look for sloes and revive this great family tradition.
We were looking for sloes at the weekend, East Coast, and we could not find a single one. Last year we found them in abundance in exactly the same place. Does anyone know why??


very good year for sloes in the southwest scotland, got four litre bottles on the go,,some with spices some without,,going to experiment with vodka and whisky, sound like an abusive amount for one person, but it just like a box of QUALITY STREET it is made for sharing. hic, hic
Deedee 123 - Did you have any luck finding any sloes in your area?

I live nearby to you and would love to find some to make a bottle or two of sloe gin this year. Reading the previous posts we might be out of luck this year due to the Spring frosts affecting the hawthorn blossom.

Please post and let me know how you got on - thanks.

Every body is correct..early frosts put paid to this autumns sloes ...foraging in the hedgerows is pointless...therefore forage on the internet! We bought a pound of freshly picked sloes off e-bay for £4.99!
None to be found in the Cotswolds word is the late frosts did for them in the Spring. No wild damsons either. Will have to make last year's vintage for drinking this year last until next.
How will I take cuttings from the tree in my fathers garden to plant in mine. We had a bumper crop of sloes about 4 years ago, size oF small plums.
Interestingly we picked sloes here, south Hampshire, at the end of August, there are none to be had now. The Gin has been doing it's stuff since then and we hope for some sampling over Christmas!

Can you pick sloes in August and freeze them?

Orchid Lady
I'm not sure but I think it's too early yo pick them yet? I was once told they should be picked after the first frost (ie late October?)
Don't pick them yet, it's far too early. They must be good and black and ripe before you pick them.

By all means put them in the freezer for a few days, it saves having to prick them as the skins split.


I don't freeze them for long or they wouldn't be in the gin for long enough before Christmas. I usually prepare them in October; when they are ripe, but before the gales take them.

You can put them in the spirits with the sugar without thawing them. Shake as often as you like until the sugar is dissolved.
Orchid Lady

I made some a couple of years ago with gin and although I'm not a big gin fan, it was lovely. I do like white rum though  Last year we had no sloes at all, they all just seemed to disappear after the blossom had gone, but we didn't have many blackberries either.

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