When Carolyn and I were in Edinburgh we visited a shop named Demijohn that sold liquids. They had everything from olive oil, to vinegar, to liquors. You pick out one of their cool bottles and they will fill it with a liquid of your choice. We got a raspberry vinegar, an olive oil and sloe gin. The store is a lot of fun… and they let you sample! Of course since they are in Scotland and selling liquids, they also sell single malt Scotch.
Sloe gin is an infusion of sloe berries and gin. The sloe gin we got was made using the traditional method. Ripe berries, picked after the first frost, are pricked and then add to a jar along with sugar and gin. The jar is placed in a dark place and turned regularly. It should be ready after 3 months. The sloe gin is then decanted a couple of times to remove sediment.
Commercial varieties are often made with grain spirits and do not have as much depth of flavor. The Sloe Gin we got was not very strong, about 40 proof. It tastes sort of like blackberries, but with more depth of flavor. I would buy it again if I found another bottle. You can just have it chilled as a liqueur or make a little cocktail out of it.
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 1/2 oz sloe gin
- 1 twist lemon peel
Stir sloe gin and vermouth with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the twist of lemon peel and serve.