This indulgent recipe packs some real wow factor — but is easily foraged and deceptively simple to make
The Victorians had some undeniably brilliant ideas — and one of their traditions was that sorbets were always made with alcohol.
Some traditions are well worth preserving and, although the Victorians opted for some more adventurous combinations, such as ginger wine and cucumber, we think our take on the alcoholic sorbet is one of the finest marriages you could encounter.
The luxurious blend of plummy, full-bodied, sweet gin and fresh hedgerow blackberries is a match truly made in heaven. It’s almost hard to believe that something quite so refined can be made from two of the most abundant early Autumn fruits, or that this sorbet hasn’t become a British tradition in itself — it really is that good.
Sloe gin takes around three months to develop, so it is best to use last year’s stock for this recipe. If you don’t have some ready-made sloe gin, you can always freeze the blackberries and wait until this year’s batch is ready. This sorbet would certainly make an impressive dessert for festive entertaining!
200g caster sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
100ml sloe gin
Bring the 200ml of water to a simmer and add in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Set to one side and allow to cool
Blend the blackberries and lemon juice to a purée using a stick blender or food processor. Push the purée through a sieve using the back of a wooden spoon or silicon spatula into a clean mixing bowl, leaving behind the seeds which can be discarded
Add the sieved blackberry purée to the sugar syrup and then stir in the sloe gin
Churn in an ice cream maker until smooth and forming a slush (approx 20-30mins)
Pour into a 1litre container and place in the freezer until solid
If you need to make a sloe gin from scratch, the process is simple:
Pick sloes from October onwards.
Freeze your 500g of sloes overnight — you don’t need to defrost them afterwards — or prick them, so the skin splits.
Put in a large jar and pour over 1 litre if gin.
Add 250g of sugar, seal and give it a shake (reduce sugar for a less sweet gin)
Shake the jar daily for the first week or two to dissolve the sugar, and then occasionally.
After three months drain the gin off the sloes into bottles.
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!