Making sloe gin is slow but not laborious. There's no cooking required, just patience as the sloes steep in the gin.
Prick the tough skin of the sloes all over with a clean needle and put in a large sterilised jar.
Pour in the sugar and the gin, seal tightly and shake well.
Store in a cool, dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week. Then shake once a week for at least two months.
Strain the sloe gin through muslin into a sterilised bottle.
You can make blackberry brandy in the same way, substituting blackberries for the sloes and brandy for the gin. Blackberries do not need pricking.