On the Rocks - Sloe Vanilla Rum

This is something that has been a permanent fixture on my drinks shelf for a few years now, always at least one bottle in reserve. Now its coming up to Sloe season again I thought it was time to drag it from the back of the shelf and remind everyone of its loveliness. Gin is great, but sometimes you need something different.

It's glorious, with a taunting ruby red colour and, something about it that reminds me of overly thick cordials as a kid. Not the best description but think schnapps in its sweetness, rather than the lightness of a flavoured gin.

Sloe Vanilla Rum

1 standard bottle of white rum (I used value brand)
600g Sloe berries, frozen overnight
250g Vanilla sugar
250g White sugar

In an old fizzy drink bottle (easiest in my experience to store) mix the frozen berries, rum and sugars. Shake every now or then until the sugar is dissolved. Then store somewhere dark, shaking once a week.

On principle I do not decant for 3 months any fruit booze, but I like flavour to punch me in the face. If you prefer a milder flavour you don't need to wait that long. A month will give you a lighter flavour - open the bottle and sample a bit if you are desperate, but I give it three months at least. If I have more than one bottle the others generally don't get drained off until I need to do it.

Adding the berries frozen saves pricking each berry and opens up the skins so you get the great colour.

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