This cranberry gin is a New England take on a British classic, sloe gin – try one of the 3 different versions of this infused gin in our experiment or come up with your own!
So this is one of the few posts which won’t be one to share with the kids (much as our monkey would love to break his way in to these), but cranberry gin is a good one to make an exception for. Well at least so we hope, we still have a little while until we try the final product but it has potential. And if it doesn’t taste good, it already at least looks fantastic – it was even starting to color nicely after only a day.
I will admit upfront, this one wasn’t my idea, it was my husband’s. For anyone who has spent any time in the UK, you have probably come across sloe gin, or if you haven’t, you missed a treat. It’s basically a liqueur made from gin, sloe berries and sugar and tastes a little like a sweet port.
It’s both scarily addictive and seems like you are just drinking juice so can be all too easy to drink a lot of, but it’s still worth it. I only know of one commercial variety, it’s generally something you find a friend or relative makes which maybe adds to the appeal.
However having moved to New England, I don’t believe there are any sloe berries anywhere so there was no real option to make our own. There are, however, plenty of cranberries, so my husband decided to have a go at a cranberry gin, the New England version. We had picked up some cranberries at the Cranberry Harvest that we went to in September, so after getting some decent gin and some things to add flavor, we were good to go.
There was limited precedent so we largely took tips on making sloe gin as a basis. We made a couple different versions so that we could compare the flavors. All in the interests of science, of course.
The bottles have been sitting in a cool dark place for a couple weeks now and you can really see the change already, but we plan to leave them a bit longer to mature before we taste them. As you can see in the picture below, the cinnamon seems to have added a definite orange tinge to the middle bottle, it will be interesting to see how the tastes vary.
At this stage, here’s an outline of what we did, and I will come back with more on the results towards the end of the year. We are hoping these should be a great after dinner drink for our Christmas meal, they could even make a nice interesting present, so why not join our experiment?
See the follow up post for tasting notes etc here.
- 2 cups cranberries approx
- 750 ml gin
- 1/2 orange zest approx, ie from 1/2 a fruit, or lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick or sprig of rosemary
- Sugar syrup once matured, to taste
- Prepare cranberries- two methods, one was to prick holes in the berries (sterilize a needle and pierce right through in a couple places), the other was to freeze them (clearly easier).
- Half fill bottle/jar with cranberries.
- Add any additional flavoring/ aromatics- we did one with orange rind, another orange and a cinnamon stick, another lemon rind and rosemary.
- Fill bottle/jar with gin.
- Store in cool dry place for at least two weeks, but a couple months better.
- After matured, add sugar syrup to get desired level of sweetness.
Try these other seasonal drinks with cranberry:
Remember to pin for later!