Slow, Slow, Quick Quick, Sloe (Gin)

I love books, in particular second hand books. Not only can you find some real gems that are no longer published but also they often contain notes in margins, newspaper clippings and in some cases recipes.


Recently a client gave me an old rather battered copy of ‘The Popular Encyclopedia of Gardening’. There is no publishing date, but, I would guesstimate around the 1930’s (judging by the photographs). Nestled within the pages of this rather weighty tome I found the following recipe* for “Styrrup Cup”.


Styrrup (Stirrup) Cup Recipe


So if you still have Sloes, it would seem, you still have time to make this tipple for Christmas.


Styrrup (or Stirrup) Cup

1lb sloes 8 oz sugar 1 Quart** gin

Remove stalks and leaves wash and place in pie dish

Cover with sugar and cook for an hour or two in the lambing oven***

mash occasionally to encourage the jam

When the jam is quite cool mix together with the gin in a large bowl

Pour the liquor into kilners

Keep for two to three weeks in the pantry**** before sieving and straining through muslin


* Whose recipe this was is not known, the book belonged to my client’s Grandfather but apparently the writing is not his.

** 1 Quart = 2 Pints.

*** think this might be the bottom oven of an AGA type range cooker.

****if no pantry available, I have no doubt any cupboard would suffice.

3 thoughts on “Slow, Slow, Quick Quick, Sloe (Gin)

  1. Interesting method, and made more lovely for finding it handwritten in an old book. I gathered sloes a couple of months ago when I saw there was a plentiful supply in the Heath hedgerows; these went into the freezer to emulate frost and soften the skins, they were pricked and added to vodka and sugar in a Kilner jar. I would love to make more using your method but when I looked a couple of weeks back, there were no more sloes or bullaces to be found! I’m London based, perhaps the milder conditions have caused ours to mature earlier…

    1. Hi Caro, I am afraid I cant vouch for how the recipe will turn out as it is, as yet un-tested, perhaps I should put a disclaimer on the recipe. I would love to know how it turns out though.

      We still have some sloes but the Fieldfares have arrived and are rather partial to them. As I have already made my batch of sloe gin I am happy to share the rest with the birds.

  2. PS. Hope you don’t mind, I’ve linked back to your post from my blog – I was just writing a post on foraged sloes and rosehips when yours popped into my inbox and a vintage recipe is too good not to share! Caro x

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