Everyone should have a bottle or two of sloe gin in their home bar during the colder months. It makes a great winter warmer, or you can fix up a Sloe Gin Fizz to match any celebration. I even add it in my Negroni. If you’ve been too busy (lazy?) to make your own sloe gin, there are enough options on the market for us lazy ones to simply pick and choose! I have listed ten options below.
Sloe Gin is not a 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 producers like to add the sugar at the end of the maceration.
It sounds pretty straightforward 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!
Take it sloe with these brands
Black Forrest sloes have been macerated for three months. This one is nutty and peppry with juicy red berry notes. One of the most expensive options, but if you have tried Monkey 47 gin before, you know the quality is on point.
Enjoyable 2018 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.
There’s also Hayman’s Spiced Sloe Gin, which is made using an additional mix of seasonal spices. Expect notes of ginger, plum, peppercorns, jammy strawberry and earthy juniper.
Both sloes and mulberries have been soaked in Chase GB Gin, followed by a short ageing in Rhone Valley red wine casks. Tasty notes of dark fruits, red wine and Christmas spices such as cinnamon and cardamom.
This one is for all the Port lovers! The sloes were soaked in 6 O’Clock London Dry Gin for five years to achieve a similar product to vintage tawny Port. This one is less tart than your usual sloe gin with notes of jammy red fruits, honey, baking spices and chocolate.
This German premium sloe gin is made using a potato-based gin and sloe berry juice. It has a lovely mouthfeel with notes of raspberries and damson. A peppery finish.
Simply a traditional sloe gin with notes of syrupy red fruits, subtle juniper and sloe tartness.
This German Sloe Gin is stronger than most. 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, Da Mhile has a Christmas theme, which means the base gin used has aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Lovely festive liqueur!
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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