Sloe gin is a gin-based liqueur made with sloes, a fruit similar in flavour and colour to plums. The deep red colour of sloe gin comes from macerated sloe berries.
The season for picking sloes in Britain is during early winter, meaning that sloe gin has become a Christmastime tradition over the years. Sloe gin has a lower ABV than gin and is primarily used in classic cocktails with champagne or in hot drinks.
The Sloe Gin Fizz is a go-to cocktail for anyone lucky enough to have a bottle on their back bar.
Fizzes are a category of cocktail dating back to the 1800s and defined by the inclusion of soda water and being served without ice in their own style of glass - the ‘fizz glass’, a smaller, slimmer version of a Collins.
There are many variations on the fizz, notably the Silver Fizz which incorporates egg white and led to the creation of the famous Ramos Gin Fizz, a wonderful cocktail recipe from New Orleans.
Sloe Gin Fizz recipe
Here is my preferred recipe:
1 ½ oz (45ml) sloe gin
¾ oz (20ml) fresh lemon juice
¾ oz (20ml) simple syrup
1 egg white (or 20ml of aquafaba to make it vegan)
Soda water to top
Combine all ingredients except the soda water and shake without ice
Add ice to the shaker and shake a second time
Strain into a champagne flute glass
Carefully top with soda water
Garnish with an orange twist
The intense colour of the sloe gin is softened by the other ingredients and the shaking to produce a pretty, elegant-looking cocktail. For a festive variation, swap the soda water for champagne.