So, having acquired some sloes, the next thing to do is get gin. If you see some cheap in the supermarket it’s probably best to check on the volume required before purchasing two one litre bottles rather than the two 0.75cl bottles required for the quantity of sloes in the freezer. When you get home and discover the mistake, console yourself with memories of the deliciousness of G&T and recall how distant those memories are. Tell yourself you have several years of G&Tlessness to make up for.
Next, sort out some containers. It might be a good plan to have some general idea of the volume occupied by both sloes and gin, ie at least a nascent sense that it’s considerably greater than that occupied by the gin alone. About double, in fact. However, once grasped, this concept should be coupled with a knowledge of the volume of the selected container. Should you choose, to take an entirely random example, to save plastic milk bottles for your project, it would be as well to realise they are 2l bottles not 1l bottles before every spare inch of kitchen is filled with ginormous washed-out plastic containers which wobble and crash to the floor with hollow thumps at the slightest move.
Finally – the assemblage of the constituent parts into the aforementioned container/s. Even the most sloe-witted of fabricators will, by this point, have finalised the proportions of sloe : sugar : gin. In this case it required taking a single 2l plastic milk bottle, half filling it with sloes (quickly, if frozen, you don’t want condensation to dilute your nectar-to-be), glugging in a litre bottle of gin and adding about two wine-glasses full of sugar. However the latter part of the operation should not be attempted with the use of an old envelope roughly rolled into a sort-of funnel. The sugar escapes through the edge of the sort-of and ends up on the floor where the delighted dog licks it up and ruins her teeth. Just saying.
It is at this point that you might realise there are sloes left over and it would be a shame to waste them. But their small quantity is entirely lost in the bottom of one of the many other 2l plastic milk bottles and all the devil-may-care insouciance of rustic approximate measurements flies out of the window. Frantic weighing and internetting and measuring are advisable before the sloes thaw into a swampy mush but you might end up with a small amount (say about a quarter of a litre of gin) in the bottom of the huge container which you decide you can give your father for his birthday which happens to fall just when the stuff will be first drinkable. Result! you might think, and make a mental note to find a suitable container (not plastic, about a quarter of a litre in capacity) into which to strain it since a lumpy purple liquid at the bottom of a large plastic bottle might not get top marks for presentation. Oh, and you might try to remember to get hold of a funnel.