Too Sloe

Cocktail aficionados are getting excited for next month’s U.S. release of Plymouth Sloe Gin, a garnet-colored gin steeped with sloe berries. The Plymouth press materials promise “sweet cherry and raspberry notes that provide a complementary mixture of figs, cloves, honey and stewed fruits.”

What’s all the fuss about? As cocktail and food blog Married …with Dinner explains:

[A]ny well-stocked suburban liquor barn probably has a dusty bottle or two on hand for frat boys looking to whip up a batch of Alabama Slammers. But these so-called sloe gins are no more than low-quality, one-note wonders packed with sugar and artificial fruitiness; many don’t even start with a gin base. Truly, they’re so far removed from the real thing that most cocktail enthusiasts have considered sloe gin a lost ingredient Stateside, going so far as to concoct their own facsimiles from sour plum infusions or importing bottles from abroad.

It seems that Plymouth’s ruby-red tipple will be available in select bars starting next month, but getting your hot little hands on a bottle may be hard. Off-the-record reports from a recent launch party whisper that it’ll be at one retail outlet per city, maybe, eventually. A report on Serious Eats last fall mentioned a total distribution of a “miserly 1,000 half cases.” Sloe gin is living up to its name.

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