Cocktail Corner: Getting Fizzy With Sloe Gin

Posted on Apr 22 by Leslie Dinaberg

Savage Thorn, courtesy Spirit Works Distillery.

Savage Thorn, courtesy Spirit Works Distillery.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

My first introduction to the Sloe Gin Fizz was a few decades ago at a football tailgate party in Berkley, Cal vs. UCLA. I don’t recall whether my Bruins won, but I can still remember my first delectable sip of that frothy and delicious Sloe Gin Fizz. It really is the perfect concoction for day drinking.

Sloe Gin Fizz courtesy Spirit Works Distillery.

Sloe Gin Fizz courtesy Spirit Works Distillery.

Not just for football games, this playful spirit is also great for backyard gatherings, sun soaked brunches and afternoon barbecues when warm days call for refreshing cocktails worthy of sipping all the livelong day. A frothy, tangy, lightly sweet Sloe Gin Fizz just hits the spot for spring.

I recently tried a new Sloe Gin from the all female distilling team at Sebastopol-based Spirit Works Distillery who are crafting the only traditional sloe gin made in the U.S. Unlike many of the syrup-based products associated with sloe gin, each Spirit Works’ batch starts with whole sloe berries, a tiny relative of the plum, which they carefully steep in their handcrafted gin. This vibrantly hued liqueur features both bright berry and citrus notes, combining ripe sweetness with fresh acidity. It’s really quite tasty!

For those who are unfamiliar with this spirit, Sloe Gin gets its flavor from the bittersweet sloe berry, a purplish-colored relative of the plum. The shrub is native to England, where Sloe Gin is very much more popular. Most Sloe Gins are liqueurs or cordials, which contain more sugar per liter than regular spirits.

The gals at Spirit Works Distillery were generous enough to share a few recipes with us, including a really good one for the Sloe Gin Fizz. Enjoy!

Sloe Gin Fizz

2 oz. Spirit Works Sloe Gin

1 oz. lemon juice

.5 oz. simple syrup

Egg white (optional, but recommended)

Soda water 

Combine sloe gin, lemon, simple syrup, and egg white into cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into fizz glass and top with soda water. Release the oils of a lemon peel over the cocktail as a garnish. Discard the lemon peel.

Savage Thorn

Sloe Gin Spritz courtesy Spirit Works Distillery.

Sloe Gin Spritz courtesy Spirit Works Distillery.

1 oz. Spirit Works Sloe Gin

1 oz. Blanco Tequila

.75 oz. fresh lime juice

.5 oz. simple syrup 

Combine sloe gin, tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain over ice. Garnish with lime wheel.

Sloe Gin Spritzer

2 oz. Spirit Works Sloe Gin

Soda (Your choice – examples: sparkling lemonade, sparkling grapefruit soda, ginger beer, ginger ale, soda water) 

Pour sloe gin into glass and fill with ice. Top with your favorite soda. Garnish with appropriate citrus twist.

Sloe 75

1 oz Spirit Works Sloe Gin

1 oz fresh lime juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

1 dash Fee’s Old Fashioned Bitters 

dry sparkling wine

Have a champagne flute and chilled sparkling wine ready. In a shaker, combine sloe gin, lime, simple syrup, bitters and ice. Shake and strain into flute, and top with sparkling wine.

Happy spring sipping! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

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