Sloe gin, a drink made from sloe berry, is significantly different from traditional gin that’s distilled from juniper berries. Both are worth a closer look because of the vibrancy of their flavor and unique undertones. This gin liqueur is perhaps quite alluring to those who want more flavor in their drink. You can learn how to make sloe gin using our sloe gin recipe right here. You’ll find it’s rather easy and well worth trying out.
What Is Sloe Gin?
Sloe gin is made from sloe drupes, also known as blackthorn, and gin. This creates a red liqueur that’s pungent and bright. Blackthorn drupes are a small fruit that is much like the traditional plum. These berries are soaked in gin until they reach a specific point.
For those looking to enjoy sloe gin, you can expect it to have an alcohol content ranging from 15 to 30 percent by volume. By EU spirit drink rules, sloe gin is the only type of gin-based liqueur that can be called gin without including the suffix “liqueur” in it. You’ll find it referred to with and without this suffix.
What Is Sloe Gin Made From?
As noted, sloe gin is made from a small fruit called the sloe or blackthorn or Prunus Spinosa. It is from the rose family and found naturally in western Asia, Europe, and northwest Africa. To create the drink itself, in its most traditional form, sloes are soaked in gin for a long period of time. The goal is to extract the sloe juice from the fruit. Today, many commercial manufacturers create less expensive varieties by using neutral grain spirits with added flavoring. Still, authentically made sloe gin is exceptional.
How to Make Sloe Gin
The key to making sloe gin is to use sugar, properly measured, to help with the extraction of the juice from the sloe drupes. In the best recipes, sugar is only added to start the process. It is possible to add sugar to the end to create a desired sweeter product or, in some varieties, simple syrup is used instead of traditional granulated sugar, which extracts the juices prior to the crystals forming.
Also, important in the creation of sloe gin is not to use a cheap gin because the sloes work well to highlight the flavors of the gin itself. If it’s a poor quality gin, that’s going to come through clearly. There are numerous ways to drink sloe gin. Check out these three recommended cocktails
Sloe Gin and Tonic
A very simple but ideal way to enjoy this drink is to mix 50ml of sloe gin with 150ml of tonic water. Add the juice of one lemon to the mix in a shaker bottle. Fill a highball glass to the top with ice. Pour the sloe gin mixture over the top.
Sloe Gin Fizz
For those who like a bit more fizz, try this recipe. You’ll need one ounce of sloe gin, one ounce of traditional gin, and ½ ounce of lemon juice. Add this, along with one 1 teaspoon of simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Service it over the top of ice with an added lemon slice for more flavor.
Sloe Gin Negroni
For this recipe, you’ll mix 1 part each of London dry gin, sloe gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth together. Mix together and pour over ice. Add an orange twist.
Some people don’t want to make sloe gin, but instead, want to buy sloe gin. There are numerous brands available to you. When considering where to buy sloe gin, consider these options:
A traditional option, it is made by steeping sloes with Hayman’s gin and then blending it with sugar. It’s a more intense and bittersweet version. This variety involves macerating sloe berries in a mixture to create a rich, dark hue with apple juice in it. It’s a warming mixture made with classic Elephant Dry gin. This variety involves macerating sloe berries in a mixture to create a rich, dark hue with apple juice in it. It’s a warming mixture made with classic Elephant Dry gin.