As winter starts to bite, nothing beats a warming sloe gin sipped slowly in front of a fire. So we’ve selected the 7 best sloe gins for you to try.
The key to a good sloe gin is patience, so while you might still have a chance to make your own sloe gin, you need to wait at least 3 months for the fruit flavours to infuse and ideally you want to drink this year’s batch of sloe gin, next year. So, while you wait, we’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite sloe gins.
For starters, you have to love the name, and it really sums up the patience, care and back to basics approach they take to producing a delicious sloe gin.
Sloemotion are a family business based in Yorkshire with serious green credentials. All their fruit is sustainably grown, harvested locally and they work hard to recycle as much as possible, even using the “spent” fruit to make a range of chocolates.
Sloemotion use a higher proportion than normal of sloes to make their gin which allows it to achieve a really rich, fruity flavour with a strong cherry finish. Idea served neat over ice.
Buy Sloemotion Sloe Gin today. £30 for 70cl
Another key tip for a good sloe gin...use a great gin to start with. Since Hayman’s Sloe Gin is based on Hayman’s award winning London Dry you’d struggle to find a better gin to start with.
This beautiful, ruby red liqueur is based on an old family recipe, and the Haymans know all about old family recipes, they’ve been making gin for over a 100 years. This is a strongly sloe-flavoured drink, especially on the nose, with just a hint of cherry in the background.
And at £21.00 for 70cl it’s very reasonably priced too. A great Christmas gift for gin lovers.
Buy Hayman's Sloe Gin today. £21.00 for 70cl
The good professor is known for his eccentricity and innovation so not surprisingly his sloe gin is a little bit unusual. Rather than steeping sloes in gin, the sloes are added at the same time as the other botanicals (which include juniper, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and orange peel) in a process called cold compression. The end result is a sloe gin that’s closer to gin in flavour and mouth-feel than a normal sloe gin-liqueur. That makes it great to use in cocktails that call for sloe gin.
It’s also positively bursting with Christmas flavours thanks to the botanicals chosen and, like all the good professor’s creations, comes in a beautiful bottle that’s almost as great as the gin inside it.
Buy Professor Ampleforth’s Bathtub Sloe Gin today. £25.00 for 50cl
Sipsmith were really the guys who got the small batch artisanal gin revival going. They were the first to apply for a license to distil gin in London for almost 200 years and their London Dry is simply one of the best gins in the world. So, unsurprisingly, they make a very nice sloe gin.
Sipsmith Sloe has a gorgeous taste of redcurrants and ripe winter fruits with just a hint of soft cherry and an overall, well-rounded fruitiness. This pairs really well with a cheeseboard, or try it with a lemon tonic for a long drink that’s ideal at Christmas parties.
Buy Sipsmith Sloe Gin today. £25.00 for 50cl
Another Sloe Gin that is amazing primarily for the base gin used to make it. Becketts London Dry is one of our favourite gins with a fresh but warm and whisky-like take on the nose but with soft juniper and citrus following.
That softness and whisky-like maltiness give the sloe gin a unique warming character and plenty of rich body. It has all the usual cherry and almond flavours you expect from a sloe gin but the mint used in the base gin adds a light note of piquancy which is ingenious.
Buy Becketts Sloe Gin today. £30.00 for 70cl
More famous for their beer, but Adnams make a beautiful range of spirits too including one of our favourite gins. Their sloe gin is less sweet than most, instead it perfectly balances tart fruit, with warming, jam-like sloe flavours and bitter almond notes. Definitely worth trying, especially if you’re a London Dry fan who hasn’t made the leap to sloe gins yet.
Buy Adnam’s Copperhouse Sloe Gin today. £22.00 for 50cl
Most sloe gins are gin liqueurs, made by steeping sloe berries and sugar in gin to let the sloe flavour infuse into the gin. Almost uniquely, Mason's Slow Distilled Sloe Gin, is made with sloes distilled into gin.
What that means is that when the gin is made, sloe berries are added to the juniper and other botanicals, and their flavour is extracted by the boiling alcohol and distilled into gin. The end result isn't a thick and syrupy sloe gin liqueur but a crisp dry gin, ideal for mixing with tonic. Distilling the sloes imparts more of a sloe flavour, and much more bitterness, which is balanced out by other sweet botanicals, such as orange peel, to create a mildly sweet and warming gin.
Mason's Slow Distilled Sloe Gin is exclusive to Gin Festival.
Whether you make your own or order from us, a sloe gin is the perfect drink choice for when the weather is not so perfect. Cheers.
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