Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drink 168: Sloe Ride

Several drinks in the Mr. Boston guide feature Sloe Gin, most famously the Alabama Slammer and the Sloe Gin Fizz.  We would like to try those drinks, but the problem is that it is tough to find authentic sloe gin.  Most of the sloe gin you see at the liquor store isn’t made using the traditional method of infusing gin with sloes.  Instead, they use grain alcohol.  I’m not sure why they are allowed to call that stuff sloe gin instead of sloeshine. 

Sloeberry Cocktail
I can't tell you the name of
this drink yet because we
haven't gotten to that
 part of the post

We conducted a multi-state search several months ago (true fact) and were unable to locate any real sloe gin.  That all changed recently when Mrs. Bottle finally located some Plymouth Traditional Sloe Gin.  I’m pretty sure she was supposed to be at work at the time, but priorities are priorities.  This was exciting news since it now allowed us a whole new spectrum of drinks.  I became a bit less excited when I saw that the bottle cost over $30.  Maybe sloeshine wouldn’t have been a bad choice after all.

We didn’t want to shoot our sloe wad by bringing one of the more famous sloe-based drinks right off the bat, so today we bring you the Sloeberry Cocktail, a mix of sloe gin and bitters.  The drink tasted a little strange yet somewhat familiar.  Mrs. Bottle thought it smelt of cough syrup, but there was something else there.  After several sips, I figured it out: The Sloeberry Cocktail tasted sort of like prune juice.  I floated this theory by Mrs. Bottle and she could neither confirm nor deny it since she claims to have never tasted prune juice. I actually haven’t had prune juice either, but I’ve been known to enjoy a prune dried plum now and then.

"Slow Barry" is what Robin and Maurice called their brother

We had to know more so we turned to our go-to source for information to learn about the sloe (Wikipedia, making TBIAW possible for over 300 yearsTM).  It turns out that the sloe is the fruit of the Prunus spinosa species of bushes. I don’t know if you caught the name…Prunus spinosa. That’s right; the sloe is related to the prune. I am here to tell you that a hint of that pruney flavor is present in the Sloeberry Cocktail, too.  It wasn’t overwhelming, though.  Probably because it cost so much.

Overall Rating for the Sloeberry Cocktail

Taste: 3
Presentation: 4
Ease of Preparation: 4
Drinks Until Blackouts: 5 – 26% Alcohol


2 oz Sloe Gin
1 dash Bitters

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