Plenty of Ice readers know that I’m a whisky guy. But my second favorite family of spirits is gin. And a favorite gin is sloe gin. Sloe gin marries gin with the sour, bitter sloe berry. England has a rich history of sloe gin – family kitchen recipes and the like. And over the past decade or so sloe gin has gained a larger and more serious spot on the shelf of any serious purveyor of fine spirits. In the past, I’ve enjoyed Plymouth’s Sloe Gin. This evening, I opened my first bottle of Spirt Works Distillery‘s Sloe Gin. Spirit Works is working some spirits magic up in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, California. Sonoma is famous for wines and I sure loved the idea of trying out a local sloe gin. I enjoyed sampling it straight, and then put it to my sloe gin test: The Sloe Gin Fizz. Here’s my favorite recipe:
2 ounces sloe gin, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, and sparkling mineral water.
Fill a shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add the sloe gin, lemon juice, and bitters. Shake well, strain into a highball glass filled with ice, and top with mineral water.
Another version I’ve enjoyed is a bit boozier and a bit more gin forward. It’s credited to a cocktail book from 1910 called Jack’s Manual:
1 ounce sloe gin, 1 ounce gin, .75 ounce lemon juice, .25 ounce simply syrup.
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled fizz glass. Top with 3 ounces sparkling water.
It’s a refreshing, summery drink that’s a staple at my home. And Spirit Works Distillery’s Sloe Gin is a nice addition to the bar! My husband, my go to sloe gin expert, gives it two thumbs up, too. Cheers.