With the nights drawing in and the party season upon us we thought now would be the perfect time to give you some ideas for dishes that will impress your guests with very little effort!

Sloes are in season in October so why not make up a delicious batch of sloe gin to offer after dinner and also why not try our recipe for blackcurrant and sloe gin jelly, simple and impressive!

To make the slow gin you will need:

450g/1lb sloes – take a needle and prick the rough skins all over
225g/8oz caster sugar
1litre/1 3/4 pint of gin
Large sterilised jar

Pour all the ingredients into the jar and seal tightly and shake well. Place in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every week for 2 months. After the 2 months, strain the sloe gin through a muslin into a sterilised bottle
The sloe gin will be ready in perfect time for your Christmas parties!

How to make the jelly:

4 gelatine leaves, broken up and soaked in warm water
600g/1lb 5oz blackberries
400ml/14fl oz water
4 tbsp caster sugar
½ lemon
150ml/¼ pint sloe gin

Place the blackberries, water, sugar and lemon juice into a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer until the fruit has broken down completely to a sauce.
Place a sieve lined with two layers of muslin over a bowl and strain the blackberry mixture into the bowl. (Don’t press the pulp, as this will make for a cloudy jelly.) Once all the liquid has drained through discard the fruit pulp.
Place the collected liquid into a clean pan and cook over a low heat, until just warm, then whisk in the gelatine and water. Make sure you dissolve any lumps.
Remove from the heat and add the sloe gin.
Pour the mixture into glasses and chill overnight in the fridge.

Decorate with raspberries and blackberries.

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