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What is Sloe ?

Sloes are the fruit of blackthorn and are actually a wild type of plum. The flavour of the fruit is bitter, so the small plums are not suitable for eating. The bitter flavour is lost when making Sloe gin & liqueurs.Traditionally folk would pierce each sloe with a thorn from the bush in preparation, or use multiple needles embedded in a cork to speed up this process but I'm a great advocate of the shortcut and sticking the fruit in a freezer not only mellows the bitter flavour (simulating the "pick after first frost" tradition) but causes the juice in the fruit cells to expand and burst the cell walls.

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