Nature's Secret Larder - Plum Gin - Recipe


Bushcraft Blog

Plum Gin - Recipe
22nd August 2009

It’s that time of year when the hedgerows are often glistening with small blue/purple fruits, not the sloe, but the wild plum Prunus domestica. I won’t get into the "what type of plum is it?" as this is a mine-field, for they may all look similar or due to country tradition they will be given different names in different locations. For this recipe I have used the Damson, but you can try it with other types of plum.

  • 1lb of wild plums. Damsons are best, but try whatever you find!
  • 5 ozs of white sugar (if you like it sweet then add a little more, and try once a month and add to taste) 
  • Bottle of gin
  • Sterilised Kilner Jar


  • Wash the plums well and discard any bad or bruised fruit. Always check soft fruit for any holes, as this is sometimes a sign they are bad or have a rogue maggot excavating them!
  • Prick fruit with a fork, or bung them in the freezer and let them freeze, this should break the sugars down and split them.
  • Add the sugar and top up with gin covering all of the plums.
  • Shake every day (for about a week) until the sugar is dissolved and then place in a dark cupboard for at least three months, or if you can wait, then a year or so is also good.
  • After several months some people will strain out the fruit and then bottle the gin. This can be good practice as occasionally the fruit will turn and alter the flavor of the gin. Some even eat the fruits as Christmas sweeties!

Please let me know how you get on.
Catch you on the trail


Ian Bryant on 29/10/19

Hi, I live in Central Florida so no sloes or wild plums here. I have to use store bought plums. I have just tasted a batch of plum gin that I made three months ago and it is very good but oh so sweet. Too sweet for my taste and to add to tonic! Can I make some more without sugar?

Jacqueline on 11/09/19

The plums look as if the have rotted in my gin
Should I discard and start again?


kris on 18/09/18

Hi Brian,

It should be OK without as the stalk leaves a little hole behind anyway.

brian neil on 17/09/18

Is it necessary to prick the plums before they soak in gin and sugar in the mason jar?

What is the result if I on't prick the plums with a fork?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

Pauline Grummitt on 27/08/17

What size bottle of rum is used please ?

Pauline Grummitt on 27/08/17

What size bottle of rum is used please ?

Heather on 12/09/16

Sister has a glut of plums, have made sloe gin and blueberry gin so now its the plum gin, wish me luck! If good its in the christmas stockings .

David on 21/05/16

We have been making slow gin for Christmas for years. Last year we had a wonderful crop of sweet red goosberrys so used the same quantity as our usual slows and added 3 cinnamon sticks. All gone by Burns night 25 th Jan, will double the quantity this year.
The used goosberrys got mixed with black berry in crumbles throught the rest of the winter. yummy

strap on 15/08/14

Never done anything like this before so likely to totally mess up! Anyway, used 2 x 2 litre Kilner jars. 2lb plums in each, 7.5oz sugar in one and 5 oz in another as wife doesn't like things too sweet. Will try every week until Christmas, (bottled mid Aug-14), and add sugar as needs be.

Trouble is, once plums and sugar in, only had room for 1 x 70cl bottles gin rather than the 2 bottles of your recipe per jar, so am expecting more fruity flavour?? Hey ho, hopefully after a glass or three she won't mind too much!!

helen on 07/01/12

im due my first baby in july , so thought id try this recipe and have it ready for the head wetting ! 6 months should be long enough (and i have to wait so its a little easier not to be tempted).
im using shop bought plums due to the time of year. ill let you know how we get on in july.

Sue on 02/09/11

After they have been sieved Freeze the plums until you need them & make crumble or pies. Absolutely yummy.

maggy on 29/08/11

can you make any thing els with sloes ,pies etc

Dave Nunn on 15/02/11

It's lovely! Problem is it goes so quickly.

Gill on 15/08/10

After straining off the liquid don't dispose of the fruit, it's delicious cut up and stirred into good quality dark chocolate, then spread out on a baking sheet to set and break up into pieces.

Frances Ryman on 17/02/10

Miss Marples (Agatha Christie) film had her friend ring her from the railway station warning her she was on her way and to get out the Damson Gin. Just had to make it then. Black Doris Plums are superb for making Plum Gin. After - the Plums are great with clotted cream or Icecream

Kris on 16/11/09

Hi Emma,

Not really, if you want the best flavour then it needs to be done over time. You can try slightly over-ripe fruit, this will help, but will leave more bits in the drink. You can also freeze and thaw the fruit and then add it, but this tends to make it much sweeter, too sweet for me. Please let me know how it turns out.

emma on 16/11/09

is there away to speed up the process so that i can make some now and it be ready for christmas?

Kris on 16/11/09


Yes, you could use plums from the supermarket. You may find they lack a little in flavour, but they should be just fine. Let us know how they turn out!

marian greene scott on 15/11/09

cant get any sloes can i use plums from supermarket instead thanks

Kris on 05/11/09

If they are still in good condition (which of course they should after soaking in gin), they can then be used in crumbles once the stones have been taken out. Some people like to eat them straight from the jar as with sloes from sloe gin. Maybe the readers will be able to offer some other ideas too!

joan on 04/11/09

Any ideas how I can use the wild plums after I have removed them from the Gin? Seems such a shame to throw them

kris on 27/10/09


I would still give it a go, i find they work quicker than lots of people think anyway, and its pretty warm at the moment which seems to speed the process up! Please let us all know how it turns out! Good luck.

joanne on 27/10/09

Is it to late to make plum gin , i wanted it for xmas this year . iv got home grown victorias in the freezer ready for bottling?
I have 2 jars of sloe gin on the go at the moment these were bottled in sept 09 .cant wait to try it!

Kris on 19/09/09

Hi Barb,

Plums can vary in colour a lot. As a rule, bullace are reddish, but can be yellowish.

Mark, well done, sounds like you had a lot of fun. Plum vodka is a little like that of sloe gin. You can use vodka too. They will break down a little in time, but the stones are usually a bit harder in the plum.

mark on 14/09/09

the two of us just picked about 15 lbs of wild plums, only trees for miles - and no one else seems to spot them - and they are roadside. just wish the farmer would trim the trees as they are over 25 feet high, and loads out of reach at the top. This is first go at wild plum gin - is it similar to sloe, in that the stones start to break down and ceate an almondy flavour after a while?

Barb on 08/09/09

found wild red plums and bright yellow bullace? local to me. picked 12lbs this evening. might try the bullace in gin?

Kris on 04/09/09

The plums should be fine. Not many wild ones about now though. I hope to go nutting tonight should I get some time! PS. it will be a great year for sloes!

sloe Mo on 04/09/09

Yes, found some wild plums and will be soaking them in Gin! Hope its not too early to pick them but hey. Next stop Sloes.

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