Who will be crowned top tipple at the Sloe Gin World Championships?

By Ben Winstanley contact

- Last updated on GMT

Who will be crowned top tipple at the Sloe Gin World Championships?

Related tags: Sloe gin

Sloe gin makers from across the world are descending on the George Inn near Tunbridge Wells to vie for the coveted ‘Sloe Ginster World Champion’ title. 

Taking place in Frant on 16 December, the competition is open to everyone with award categories spanning amateur and professionals.

Entries are accepted on the day with hopefuls needing to bring along two bottles of sloe gin for the judges to sample. All proceeds of the event, now in its seventh year, will be donated to the MS Society.

The poor summer has provided ideal growing conditions for sloes or drupes, which promises a bumper crop of the fruit from the blackthorn bush. 

Reigning champion of the Artisan Sloe Ginster title is Edinburgh-based Demijohn. 

Demijohn sloe gin
Demijohn sloe gin

Think you have what it takes to be a champion ginster? Here's our top tips for the perfect sloe gin: 

Buy your berries: ​Getting hold of large batch can be time consuming but eBay is a surprisingly good alternative if you’re just too lazy to pick them yourself.

Choose a premium gin: ​Far from mask the taste of a cheap spirit, sloe gin requires a quality spirit in order to be at its best.  

Freeze: ​Freeze the sloes overnight before bottling, the temperature shock causes the berries to burst which aids the maceration process.

Simple syrup: ​Make a simple syrup from equal parts sugar and water to avoid any granules in your sloe gin.Add this after the maceration process so you can control the sweetness.

Wait: ​Good sloe gin is slow…leave it three months, turning the bottle every now and then.

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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