October means that sloe season has officially arrived. Get in the mood with these four classic sloe gin cocktail recipes.
Scarlet of hue and perfumed with rich berry flavours, sloe gin is delicious enough to sip neat (or from a hip flask during your autumnal rambles).
But it’s also a staple in a number of classic cocktails. When you next feel like shaking yourself a seasonally appropriate sip, turn to these four classic sloe gin cocktail recipes. Whether frothy with fizz or sultry with Scottish whisky, they show off sloe gin’s wonderful breadth and complexity.
Sloe Gin Fizz
One of the most popular classic sloe gin cocktails, the Sloe Gin Fizz serves up autumnal flavours and a celebratory amount of bubbles.
40ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 egg white
15ml simple syrup
Combine the sloe gin, lemon juice, egg white, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Open the shaker, fill with very cold ice, and shake again. Strain into a sherry glass or small highball. Top up with Champagne, or until the height of the froth is roughly equivalent to half of the drink’s volume.
Cocktail scholars should note that there are multiple iterations of the Blackthorn in existence today—including a version which eschews gin for Irish whiskey and absinthe—but our favoured take on the classic goes heavy on the sloe gin.
45ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin
30ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
20ml sweet vermouth
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange twist, to garnish
Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker full of wet ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupette or Martini glass, and garnish with an orange twist.
The Charlie Chaplin
35ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15ml apricot brandy
5ml sugar syrup
Orange twist, to garnish
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker, and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupette, and garnish with an orange twist.
The Modern Cocktail
Legendary cocktail scholar Dave Wondrich can be credited with rediscovering The Modern Cocktail, which was first created in 1905. Not only does he describe it as “spectacularly good” but also “enough to restore your faith in the cocktail.” In other words, a convincing case for picking up a bottle of sloe gin and getting to it.
8ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
30ml peaty Scottish whisky
30ml Sipsmith Sloe Gin
1 dash absinthe
1 dash orange bitters
Brandied cherry, to garnish
Add the lemon juice and sugar to a cocktail shaker and stir to combine. Add the whisky, sloe gin, absinthe and orange bitters, and fill the cocktail shaker with very cold ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a brandied cherry.
Seeking more sloe ginspiration? Berry-rich tweaks on other classic cocktails—including a Sloe Gin and Lemon Tonic, a Sloe Gin Negroni, and a Sloe Gin Gimlet—offer further ways to celebrate the season.