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Gin That Takes it Sloe

Jack Bettridge
Posted: June 20, 2008

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Addition of sugar is key as the berries are extremely acidic and it also helps to quicken maceration. However, Harrison says he takes pains not to oversweeten the gin.

The final product is much more complex than the sugary concoction you might expect if your only experience with sloe gin is with the aforementioned fizz drink. Sampled by itself it is much more a slow sipping fruit brandy than a gulping quaff—very tart with cherry and almond notes as well as a Port wine quality. Harrison says that the English often carry it in a hip flask as a companion to hiking or drink it as a winter warmer.

If you still insist on drinking the old college way, here's the recipe:

Sloe Gin Fizz 1 1/2 oz sloe gin 1 oz fresh lemon juice 1/4 oz simple syrup 1 egg white dash of bitters club soda orange slice and maraschino cherry

Place sloe gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white in a shaker with ice. Hold in a towel (it's going to get cold) and shake for about a minute (you're trying to get egg to meringue for a frothy consistency). Strain into a highball glass over new ice. Gently stir in club soda and garnish with orange and cherry. (Note: Harrison suggests substituting sparkling wine for club soda.)

Plymouth offers these alternate sloe gin cocktails as well:

Sloe Motion 1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin 3 oz of Champagne 3 blueberries

Pour in the Plymouth Sloe Gin, then top with Champagne.

The Wibble 1 oz grapefruit juice 1/2 oz lemon juice 1 dash syrup de gomme 1 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin 1 oz Plymouth Gin lemon twist

Fill mixing glass with ice and add Plymouth gins, grapefruit juice, juice from lemon and syrup de gomme. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass and add garnish.

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