Spirits writer Jason Wilson drinks deeply of sloe gin for a column on the much maligned and increasingly rediscovered spirit. Here’s the crux of the matter, as explained in Table Matters:
“Most of us in this country don’t know real sloe gin, only the syrupy facsimile liqueur: something you’d find in embarrassing drinks with unprintable names. Real sloe gin is made with real sloe berries -- the sour, inedible fruit of the blackthorn, which is a relative of the plum -- that are macerated for several months in real gin.”
In England, it’s a countryside drink, made in kitchens and carried around in flasks during hunting season, Wilson writes. Here in the United States, it’s been the victim of a soul-sucking commercial process that is only now beginning to be undone, spearheaded by Plymouth.
Wilson recommends trying the spirit, which “has a unique crisp and tangy taste (a balance of sweet and bitter that’s not cloying) and a faint, subtle finish of almonds,” in an old-school Sloe Gin Fizz. Skip the Alabama Slammers.