Sloe berries are the fruit of the Blackthorn bush and are commonly found in England, although Tasmania also has some bushes that were planted by early settlers.
I recently foraged for some when I visited Tasmania. Don’t let their blueberry-like appearance fool you! Inside each fruit is a very large stone and the skin has extremely high levels of tannin. Not something you’d want to eat on a regular basis.
However, when steeped in gin for anywhere between 3 and 12 months (depending on the producer’s preference) and sweetened with sugar sloe gin liqueur is hard to beat.
This spirit was synonymous with Christmas (my dad used to make his own), but the current cocktail trend means we are seeing more sloe gin cocktails on bar menus.
Here are 6 of the best Sloe Gin Cocktails (in my humble opinion)
Sloe Gin Fizz
A combination of gin, sloe gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and soda water. The Sloe Gin Fizz is a delicious alternative to a G&T. You can find the recipe here.
Sloe Gin Negroni
Slightly less boozy than the original, but just as tasty. Instead of 30ml gin use 15ml gin and 15ml sloe gin. You might want to pull back on the sweet vermouth if you are using a particularly sweet sloe gin. You can find more Negroni recipes here.
A gorgeous alternative to a Negroni for all you campari-haters. Sweet vermouth and sloe gin. Sublime. Find the recipe here.
Named after the silent movie star who was at the height of his fame when this cocktail was created, this is an unlikely combination of sloe gin, and apricot brandy liqueur. The sweetness is counterbalanced bu freshly squeezed lime juice. You can find the recipe here.
Mulled Sloe Gin
Move over Mulled wine there is a new hot toddy in town. Mulled Sloe Gin is hard to beat on a cold winter’s evening. Find the recipe here.
Sloe Gin Champagne Fizz
Champagne and sloe gin gin? Oh yes! A delicious cocktail created by Jared Brown, Master Distiller at Sipsmith. Fid the recipe here.
Do you have a favourite Sloe gin cocktail? Do tell!