Has anyone here ever tried to make sloe gin? I know that the sloe berries aren't grown in the U.S. (at least not in Northern California), but I am considering a local small plum (which no one seems to eat here in Berkeley, except maybe Michael Pollan) as a substitute. So, my questions, please:
1) Is it worth it to use a very high quality gin, or will the fruit overwhelm the flavors? I was going to pick up a 1.75 of Bombay-level gin (not my normal Plymouth).
2) Has anyone else done this, with plum varieties other than the sloe/Blackthorn plum?
3) When using other fruits, are there any special considerations? The plum I am hoping to use is about the size of a monster cherry, and I am worried that too much of the gin will remain absorbed into the fruit at the end, and I'll lose a significant volume. Maybe I'll pit the fruit first, and press it pretty hard at the end of the maceration in order to extract as much booze as possible?
I know that Plymouth is starting t sell a sloe gin th U.S., and I'll be happy to report back on the homemade version vs. the Plymouth.