I am a big fan of sloe gin but have always relished in the challenge of making my own. I love every step from hunting in the April for the white flowers to locate where the sloes will be come Sept/Oct/No time to the actual final filtering and bottling up. As the last couple of years have been poor harvests however (due to the weather) and I am awaiting picking season again I picked up the bottle of the Gordan's sloe gin we have in the drinks cabinet (I have one bottle of homemade sloe gin waiting but am hoping to make that a bit more 'vintage').
This retailed at the time at £19 for the 70cl bottle which given it's much lower alcohol content than normal gin I think it is a bit of a steep asking price, however it is a bit of a novelty find I suppose. Also Gordan's do have to take into account any extra work that goes into the production of this in the price. It is a shame that Gordan's don't give you more information on on the making of this though - such as where were the sloes harvested from, how long were they seeped into the gin, what was the ration of sugar and what other (if any ingredients) were used. I'm sure trawling the internet somwhere you could find this information though I guess I'm not that inclined to do so!
The gin comes with the recognisable gordons logo and is in a clear glass bottlle. The design and marketing of this product, like with other gordons products is simple and straightforward which I like. It also has the trademark stamp on the back and pictures of sloe berries on the label and engraved on the front of the glass. As with all gordons gins the bottle is made of a thick glass which adds to the prestige of the product. I havent yet dropped the bottle to test smashability (it could happen)! but it seems pretty sturdy...glass is glass though!!
They don't have much suggestions on how to drink this gin - the back suggests trying with tonic water. I like to drink it with tonic or soda water. I have also tried straight with ice and it seems to go down very well as it is very sweet (and not dry like normal gin). I have also tried it with a nice prosecco (san leo nv) and this is really lovely but a little bit too sweet for my liking.
The colour of the gin is nice, although as it isnt as deep as some other sloe gins I have drunk I would suggest it isnt that mature. Still the colour isnt so light that I would accuse it of being a rookie gin! The texture of the gin is also very watery which again suggests to me either there may be added ingredients other than gin and sloes (?) or the sloes havent been steeped that long.
In any case this is a really nice drink that can be warm and wintery straight on the rocks of summery and sweet if drunk with prosecco or sparking wine.
I guess I would buy this product again - although not over the homemade variety - you just can;t beat the different textures and flavours you get!
Wine is my drink of choice, but there are times when I fancy something different. I was given a bottle of Gordon's sloe gin for Christmas and have really got a taste for it now!
Gordon's sloe gin comes in a glass screw top bottle like its more popular cousin. It is a lovely dark red and is made from the fruit of the blackthorn bush, known as sloes. Blackthorn bushes can be found throughout the UK in hedgerows. The berries are small and grow in clusters looking a bit like grapes. They taste really bitter and I wouldn't recommend eating them! Sloes and related to the plum family. If you fancy making your own sloe gin you will need about 500 grams of sloes (found from about October until the end of November), 250 grams of sugar and 1 litre of gin. All you do is prick the sloes and then add everything to a glass kilner jar, giving it a good stir. Store the jar in a dark cupboard, stirring regularly. The sloe gin will be ready to drink after about 3 months.
If like me, you don't have time to make your own then Gordon's is a great alternative! It is not a cheap drink with a 70 cl bottle costing £19 in Tesco. Sloe gin tastes nothing like clear gin and has a fruity, sweet taste but with a sharp tang and a floral scent. It is a lovely dark shade of red and makes fantastic cocktails. It can be drunk neat, although I far prefer it mixed with soda and ice to make a long drink. The soda turns the drink a lovely dark pink colour. This is not a drink to be taken lightly as with 26 % alcohol it can bite!
I also like to drink sloe gin with tonic and ice topped with a slice of lemon or cranberry juice and ice. It is also lovely with champagne; but remember that alcohol content! Sloe gin can be used to make several cocktails including sloe gin fizz. For this you will need to top about 25 ml of sloe gin with a dry sparkling white wine. Top with a few blackberries and serve. This looks best in a champagne flute.
I really love sloe gin, finding it far sweeter than clear gin and without the bitter after taste. It makes lovely cocktails and can be mixed with tonic, soda and fruit juices to make a refreshing, long summer drink. It is also good in the colder months to help cheer me up!
Gordon's Sloe Gin
I think that winter is a great time to indulge in some rich spirit drinks when the cold starts creeping in and the dark nights are never ending and Gordon's Sloe Gin is one of those drinks for me.
Gordon's are most famous and recognisable for their gin in the fancy green bottle, but their sloe gin is also a long-standing product, being made in their factory for over 100 years since 1906.
The bottle of sloe gin is totally the same as their regular gin bottle - but the colour of sloe fruits - purple. The bottle has a flat front and curved and rounded back to it. The glass is very thick and chunky to hold.
The bottle has a screw on and off cap on a thin neck with the Gordon's branding and 'sloe gin' written across the top. The label is again a lovely deep purple colour with the branding and drink information on the front.
Sloe gin is made using the fruit Prunus spinosa which is translated as blackthorn or sloe, this is a small shrub or tree that has thorny branches and dark bark. Sloe fruits from the tree are used in Britain to make the spirit/liqueur sloe gin. It seems to have become a popular idea to create your own drinks recently, I have dabbled with raspberry and blueberry vodka myself.
The drink is simple enough to make yourself - just buy a bottle of gin, add sloe's and sugar and voila - leave to ferment in a dark cupboard for a few months, then strain and drink your poison.
Gordon's Sloe Gin
Of course you could just buy a bottle of very good quality and ready to drink sloe gin - Gordon's. The sloe gin is a dry gin as it is made using Gordon's regular bestselling gin, to this they do exactly as the recipe above, though with a lot more fancy equipment.
The gin is a lovely, rich and deep purple colour with a nice fruity and strong fragrance to it when you open the cap. I did expect the liquid to be a bit thicker (more like my syrupy home brews) before I had first tried this, in reality it is quite thin and runny like a regular gin with perhaps a tad more viscosity to it.
I tend to drink this as a nightcap rather than my drink of choice on a night out. I find it very warming and rich to sip and like it best on its own rather than with a mixer or ice as the sloe flavour is blissfully grapey. Foremost the flavour of the drink is gin - this comes through straightaway, however the flavour is not as strong/sharp as Gordon's dry gin on its own and is mellowed by the fruity sloe's. The gin is lovely and warming with the sloe taking the edge off the drink which is why I class it as a winter warmer.
26 % ABV
700 ml Bottle
This retails for around the £18 mark at full price, though is often on offer in the supermarkets. I have this as a treat drink and as such it tends to last a while and is relatively good value for a tasty and rich tipple.
Thanks for Reading :D
My Dad is a difficult man to buy for so I usually end up giving him something alcoholic. Shortly before Fathers' Day, earlier this year, I was frantically scouring the booze aisles at Morrison's looking for inspiration when an unusual version of Gordon's Gin caught my eye. Sporting the curvy Gordan's logo and its distinctive flat-fronted and curved back bottle design, this gin was a really eye-catching purple colour.
Rather than boring old gin, this is Gordon's Sloe Gin. For those unfamiliar with sloe berries, the label describes them as '...the fruit of the wild blackthorn grown naturally in the countryside.' I don't think I would recognise sloe berries if I discovered them growing in the wild myself but, certainly taste wise, they have a resemblance to plums and damsons.
I knew this was the perfect choice for my Dad as I still have vivid memories from my childhood in the eighties of my Dad's homebrews - demijohns in the living room and dusty bottles of homemade sloe gin piled up in the outhouse! That was probably the last time that I'd seen sloe gin and had no idea that it was being commercially produced under the Gordon's brand name.
The gin went down a treat with my Dad, who was initially fooled by the distinctive shape of the wrapped present so the contents were far more of a surprise than he'd been expecting. What was even more surprising was my husband's curiosity when he spotted what I'd bought - leading me to buy another bottle for my husband's birthday the following month. (I'm nothing if not predictable!) I've probably added insult to injury by drinking far more of the contents than he actually has himself too!
One of my favourite aspects of this spirit is the beautiful vibrant red colour. At first glance, it resembles a glass of port but the aroma is unmistakably fruity with the strong fragrance reminding me of rich damson crumble. The first taste confirms this fruitiness and leaves a lovely rich sensation in my mouth. This is quickly overtaken by the heat of the alchol but it isn't as burning as stronger spirits can be, more pleasantly warming. I tend to drink this neat and find that it is perfectly palatable on its own, whereas I tend to find most spirits a bit overwhelming without a mixer. This gin is pleasantly sweet, much more to my taste than standard Gordon's which I don't particularly like, but not sweet enough to be sickly (unless, I imagine, you took upon yourself to drink the entire bottle.) This is surprisingly smooth and slips down really easily, making it a perfect evening drink for this time of year. Like traditional gin, this could also be mixed with tonic for a longer drink although I don't personally like the bitterness of tonic and can't imagine that it would benefit this spirit. I have tried it with lemonade as a longer drink but, unusually, this is one spirit that works much better on its own.
I'm not cosmopolitan enough to even pretend that I'm going try and mix the sloe gin into any cocktails but have to admit that I think the rich taste would lend itself perfectly to being 'mulled' with some spices as a real winter warmer. For those with more exotic tastes, Gordon's have helpfully suggested some recipe ideas for cocktails:
I paid the full price for both bottles which, at £17 per 70cl bottle, is pretty expensive especially considering the comparatively low alcohol content. Standard Gordon's gin contains 37.5% volume alcohol whereas this sloe gin version contains just 26% and is considerably more expensive. I don't think I could drink enough of either to get drunk, however, so it's not a major issue for me. At this time of year, supermarkets tend to have this type of seasonal drink on promotion in preparation for Christmas and it is currently possible to pick up a bottle for as little as £14.62 from Asda which compares more favourably with the price of a bottle of standard Gordon's gin (currently £13 from Asda.)
Although this wasn't a spirit that I originally intended to drink myself, it is surprisingly drinkable, even for someone like me who drinks relatively little alcohol nowadays, much less neat spirits. I would recommend this as a warming Winter tipple, a gift for the awkward man in your life or as an unusual addition to the Christmas drinks offerings.
My drinks cupboard at home for years was made up of vodka, rum and bottles of whiskey I seemed to get from clients as a "thank you" but one product I had never envisaged myself ever having was a bottle of sloe gin. It made me think of a great aunt of mine who drank a small glass whenever I saw her but after receiving a bottle at a bonfire night party a few years ago I was soon hooked when given it mixed with tonic water and was none the wiser.
My Sloe Gin of choice is by Gordon's. We are all well aware that they make the famous green bottled gin but they have been making their sloe gin for over 100 years. I have tried other sloe gins over the past few years but have always reverted to Gordon's Sloe Gin as I find the overall taste and flavour really quite nice and actually quite easy to drink!
What is Sloe Gin
Sloe Gin is a relatively easy product to make and Gordon's are quite happy to share their secret with you. Sloe Gin is basically made up of sloe berries, sugar and water. Pretty simple but the reason behind why it tastes so good is that it is left for a decent period of time (around a month) and the outcome should be a warming flavour.
Gordon's Sloe Gin comes in a tall glass bottle the exact same shape as the normal gin - a flat backed bottle with a rounded front. The glass bottle is completely clear and you can easily see the deep purple liquid inside. The front label is relatively simple in keeping with the white and purple theme the scrolled Gordon's logo is printed together with the product name and an image of sloe berries. The back of the bottle has a small label which features the ingredients, warnings i.e. under age drinking as well as information on the product.
Gordon's Sloe Gin is a gorgeous, rich deep purple colour and has a consistency which is ever so slightly thicker than water but not by much and as soon as you open the bottle and pour a small amount into a glass you do get a rich berry like fragrance which is rounded off with the typical Gordon's gin smell. It has an incredibly warming aroma without being too heavy.
To taste you get that wonderful warming sensation from the first mouthful. That warming of the stomach type feeling which is especially nice on a cold winter's day. You can clearly tell that this is a gin based product but it isn't sharp to the taste instead it has been teamed with a lovely berry taste which although isn't sickly sweet it is perfectly palatable and does have a soft taste one that won't make your lips curl as if you've eaten a lemon.
I generally either drink mine on it's own should I want a lovely warming drink which tastes delicious and isn't heavy or I tend to have it with tonic water and a slice of lemon and it is lovely and refreshing making it a more suitable spring/summer drink. I think there are many ways of drinking it having slowly been introduced to having it as a cocktail I find it to be quite a versatile drink.
Taken from the Gordon's website but used several times for various occasions by me throughout the year.
Gordon's Sloe Gin Sparkle
20ml Gordon's Sloe gin
20ml pomegranate juice or cranberry
Simply place the pomegranate seeds in a champagne (or wine) glass them add the sloe gin, pomegranate juice and top up with champagne. Simple yet definitely divine!
A wonderful drink which can be quite versatile to drink throughout the year but I must admit I really do like sloe gin on a cold winters evening as it really does warm you up nicely. Definitely a drink that I overlooked and wish I hadn't as it really has a lovely, unique taste to it. A drink I can easily recommend. 5 stars from me.
Availability: Supermarkets, off licences
Price: From £17.00
My favourite alcoholic drink without a shadow of a doubt is a Gin & Tonic. My gin of preference is always Bombay Sapphire, and my favourite way to serve it is over lots of ice, with slimline tonic, and a chunky wedge of lime (never lemon). I'll take it with regular tonic and a slice of lemon if that's all there is, but slimline and lime is my favourite way to go. My second favourite way to serve it is when mixed with cranberry juice and slimline tonic, again over lots of ice. I'm also happy enough to take any other gin such as Gordon's if there's no Bombay Sapphire available, but I can definitely tell the difference though, and I've even actually returned a gin & tonic in a restaurant before when I've specifically asked for Bombay Sapphire and have been given something else.
I received a bottle of Gordon's Sloe Gin as a birthday gift earlier this year, and it's only just recently that we've got around to drinking it. I guess that they chose the Sloe Gin as I am a bit of a gin fiend, and this is just that little bit different, it's a bit more interesting to give as a gift I guess than just a regular bottle of Gordon's gin. It was very gratefully received at the time as it's something that I'd not had before, I'd spotted it in the supermarket many a time, I'd just never got around to buying myself a bottle.
So it's made by Gordon's and it's in the exact same type and shape of bottle as the regular Gordon's gin. The sloe gin is a very deep purple in colour though, reflecting the colour of the sloe berries in the gin. Sloe berries are apparently the fruit of the wild blackthorn which grows naturally in the countryside. The sloe gin is a lot lower in alcohol content; regular Gordon's gin is 37.5%, and Gordon's Sloe Gin is only 26%.
So how does it taste? Not that great actually!
I was really disappointed with the Sloe Gin, I'd expected to love it as I love gin so much, but I really didn't love it at all. I thought it was far too sweet, gin isn't a sweet drink at all and so to have a sweet flavour to this was really quite odd. The gin definitely had a fruity taste, I'm not sure if it tasted like sloe berries as such, as I don't actually know what sloe berries taste like! But it did have a very sweet and fruity taste, too sweet and fruity in my opinion, the fruity taste far overpowered the dry taste of the gin. It reminded me a little bit of an alcopop actually, with it having the lower alcohol content and being so sweet.
I found that even when mixed with just slimline tonic water and a wedge of lime, which would normally make for a lovely long, cool and refreshing drink, that the taste of the sloe gin was still too overpoweringly fruity and sweet. The best way that we found to drink the sloe gin was when mixed in a cocktail along with a few other ingredients, this masked the fruitiness as there were other flavours in the drink too.
I wouldn't not recommend the Gordon's Sloe Gin, it obviously all depends upon your tastes, in fact for people that think that gin is a bit too bitter then this may well be something that they would love. For me personally it was just too fruity and sweet and not something that I really liked. My husband didn't like it either, he basically had the same opinion as me - too fruity and sweet for a gin. We will use the remainder of the bottle up in cocktails, but it isn't something that I will be getting another bottle of.
My drink of the year.
I discovered sloe gin on my 26th birthday when my friend and I decided we needed a new drink for a new year. The barmen suggested sloe gin and lemonade as one to try and I have been hooked ever since. Gordon's has always been the brand I have bought, not really sure why, tired it, liked it and decided to stick with it.
Firstly it is bottled on a simple clear glass bottle, the dark purple gin making it stand out from the other gins on the shelf next to it. Gordon's I'd written on the label and embossed/printed on to the glass bottle. The back gives you a bit of information about the liqueur and claims it is made from the finest sloe berries.
It is 26% alcohol so it is not the strongest spirit if that's important to you.
As for the taste it is lovely and fruity and not to heavy. I drink it with lemonade and it has a sweet fruity juice taste, with the taste of alcohol well masked, making it very easy to drink. It goes down very easily, too easily sometimes!
I found some quite nice cocktails in the gordons website recently and the sloe gin offers a different flavour to the cocktails then its clear counterparts. The sloe gin royal for example offering a simple way to mix up the classic glass of fizzy wine- just add sloe gin.
With the weather turning chilly and the first frosts arriving, it is once again the right time of year to go sloe gathering and make sloe gin. But for lazy people like me who don't want to risk poisoning themselves by picking the wrong little purple hedgerow fruit, there is always the option of buying some ready-made. Plus it has the advantage that you don't have to wait months for your hard work to come to fruition.
As well as their regular green bottle of regular gin, Gordon's also have a sloe version costing £16.99 for a 70cl bottle, it is rather a lot more expensive than your typical gin. Plus at only 26% vol, it is much lower in alcohol content, meaning that per unit of alcohol, it is pretty pricey.
The bottle is fairly similar to their regular version, but with different brand colouring - purple instead of green. The bottle doesn't really contain any information about the ingredients - it just describes it as being wild sloe and gin. It suggests drinking it with tonic in the summer and neat as a winter warmer.
The gin is bright purple in colour. I wouldn't want to spill this on anything - it looks like it will probably stain whatever it touches. In taste, it reminds me a bit of alcoholic fruit squash - tasty and fruity, with a bit of a kick. It is sufficiently low in alcohol that it tastes smooth and doesn't destroy the sinuses just by looking at it. I haven't gotten drunk on it, so I don't know if it gives a bad hangover, but I wouldn't want to drink more than a couple of measures of this because of its rich flavour.
I don't much care for neat spirits, so even something that's more of a liqueur strength like this is something that I usually make a cocktail out of. However, I find most cocktails far too sickly in flavour and usually make up my own. A sloe gin and tonic is very nice, but not really very imaginative. So I go for spicing up a hot vimto - mix equal parts vimto and sloe gin and three times the quantity of boiling water.
A good buy for people who don't like having to wait for months for the fruits of their labours to take effect. But if you just want a decent gin and tonic, you can get some really nice gins for this price.
The Sloe: purple bitter berry of the blackthorn - did you know you could use it to make delicious Sloe Gin? My parents used to make bottles of the stuff - sweet and tasty liqueur which was great as a winter warmer for the cold nights leading up to Christmas.
Although you can't beat the flavour of homemade Sloe Gin, you can buy a version made by Gordon's which retails at £15.49 for the 70cl bottle. The bottle itself is quite a fancy looking piece of glass with a flat front, and the words 'Gordon's Sloe Gin' embossed onto its surface - the label is predominantly white with a metallic looking purple band running across it.
Appearance & Taste
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The liqueur is a deep, dark red in colour, and has a fruity aroma. The flavour is very sweet, with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste, combined with a fairly dry finish. At 26% volume, Gordon's Sloe Gin is perhaps a little less strong than the homemade variety - yet it somehow tastes more alcoholic.
Sloe Gin is one of those drinks which you don't have to consume much of before you start feeling a little light headed - just a two or three glasses, and I start to feel the same as I would when I've had four or five pints of beer.
I prefer to consume the Sloe Gin as a short, on it own in a small glass - yet you can use it with a with a tonic as a summery drink if you prefer - although drinking it in this manner won't impress the purists.
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Although expensive, Gordon's Sloe Gin is a tasty liqueur which is well worth trying if you haven't already. However, the flavour doesn't quite match up to the homemade variety, which, actually is fairly easy to make - therefore, I think three dooyoo stars are adequate reward for Gordon's fruity yet pricey offering.
Alcohol content: 26% / 700mL.