There is no way we can survive winter without some Sloe Gin. It makes a great winter warmer, or you can fix up a Sloe Gin Fizz to match any celebration. Unfortunately, I am too lazy to pick my own fruit, even though I always fancy making my own Sloe Gin… maybe next year… But luckily there are enough Sloe Gins on the market for us lazy ones to pick and choose!
What exactly is Sloe Gin?
Sloe Gin is a liqueur made by soaking sloe fruit (also known as blackthorn) in gin. Sloe drupes are part of the plum family and are often confused with berries, but they are in fact a fruit. Sloes and sugar are added into the gin and left to steep for a minimum of two to three months. The mixture should be rotated every so often. Many Sloe Gin producers like to add the sugar at the end of the maceration.
It sounds fairly simple, with only three ingredients, yet there is a wide range of flavours available. It all comes down to the length of the maceration, the amount of sugar, the strength, and the amount of fruit used, as well as the different botanicals used in the gin. And of course the quality of the gin matters too!
Sloe your senses
All these Sloe Gins are absolutely delicious, but they all have their unique characteristics.
Enjoyable 2016 vintage Sloe Gin. You can taste red berries alongside the sloe, balanced with earthy spices and black pepper.
Made to an old family recipe where sloes are steeped in Hayman’s Gin for several months before sugar is added. Deliciously fruity with notes of plum and a hint of nuttiness.
Limited-edition Sloe Gin from a Swedish distillery, produced in batches of around 1800 bottles. This one is juniper forward with fruity freshness. Sweet on the palate followed by the gentle tartness of the sloe.
This London Sloe Gin has aromas of sloe and blueberries, pine and black pepper. Beautiful rich colour. Perfect served on its own.
This German Sloe Gin is stronger than most, making it a perfect winter warmer. It also has a relatively low sugar content. Only produced once a year, you can see the vintage year handwritten on the label. 15% of the profits go to two African elephant foundations.
Lighter than most Sloe Gins, Dà Mhìle Sloe Gin has a Christmas theme, which means the gin used as a base has aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Lovely festive liqueur!
The sloes, juniper berries, cassia, coriander, cloves and orange peel are all macerated together in copper-pot-still spirit. A flavoursome Sloe Gin with plenty of character. Makes an excellent serve with tonic water.
Do you like Sloe Gin? Which brand do you prefer? I would love to know how you like to serve yours, so please leave your tips in the comments below.
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