Sloe Gin Fizz Cocktail

Sloe Gin Fizz

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

The sloe gin fizz is a popular fruit cooler. It's a perfect introductory cocktail to the sweet-tart taste of a great sloe gin, which has seen a revival in recent years and is used in a number of retro and classic cocktails. Easy to mix up, this is a nice cocktail for spring and summer days on the patio.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe for a sloe gin fizz. You can add adjust the sweetener, pour more or less soda, add an egg white, or split the liqueur with a London dry gin. It's fun to taste all of the variations to discover which you enjoy most. As you experiment with different sloe gins, you also might find that some of these work better than others.

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Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Sloe Gin Fizz Cocktail
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios
  2. Pour the sloe gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Mixing a Sloe Gin Fizz
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  3. Shake well.

    Shaking a Sloe Gin Fizz
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  4. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.

    Straining a Sloe Gin Fizz
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  5. Top with soda.

    Topping a Sloe Gin Fizz With Soda
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  6. Serve and enjoy!

    Sloe Gin Fizz Cocktail
    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Recipe Variations

  • Pour 1 ounce each of gin and sloe gin. This mix is best when you have a syrupy -sweet sloe gin.
  • Adjust the simple syrup to fit your taste and the sloe gin you're using.
  • Use a sour mix rather than lemon juice and simple syrup separately.
  • Split the soda, filling halfway with plain soda and the rest with lemon-lime soda.
  • Skip the sweetener altogether, replace it with maple syrup, or use 1 teaspoon superfine sugar rather than simple syrup.
  • Add an egg white for a foamy top. When doing so, dry shake the ingredients without ice, then fill the shaker with ice and shake for a full 30 seconds before straining.

How Strong Is the Sloe Gin Fizz?

Even with all of the variables, the sloe gin fizz is a rather casual cocktail, which is why it was once a favorite morning drink. The strength will vary depending on how much soda you pour and if you include gin, though it's almost always in the 10 percent ABV (20 proof) range.

What Is Sloe Gin?

Despite its name, sloe gin is not a gin. It is a red liqueur made with sloes, blue-black berries that look like a cross between a plum and a blueberry. The sloe (or blackthorn) is plentiful in the hedgerows of England. British sloe gin is considered the best and integral to the country's cuisine.

The sloe has a very tart taste and it's not recommended to eat them raw. Instead, they are best enjoyed as an ingredient alongside a sweetener to contrast the tartness. For that reason, they're found most often in jams, preserves, and, of course, sloe gin.

Sloe gin often has a gin or vodka base and is sweetened with sugar. Homemade sloe gin is easy to make if you have access to the fruit. Most sloe gins are around 26 percent alcohol by volume (52 proof). Patxaran is a Spanish liqueur that is similar to sloe gin but with a little anise.

A renewed worldwide interest in sloe gin has made a significant difference in the quality of commercially produced sloe gins. Much of this began when Plymouth Gin revived a traditional recipe using real sloes. It is one of the best and most readily available sloe gins to be found today. More distillers have caught on to the trend and brands like Hayman's, Bramley & Gage, Gordon's, and Sipsmith have very impressive sloe gins as well. You might want to steer clear of cheaper brands of sloe gin as many don't use natural ingredients.

You will find that some sloe gins note "creamy topped" on the label. When shaken, there will be a creamy head on top of these sloe gins. The effect is similar to the foam of an egg cocktail and why the sloe gin fizz doesn't necessarily require the egg found in the popular gin fizz.

More Sloe Gin Cocktails

Sloe gin is not one of the most common ingredients in the bar, but it does make an occasional appearance. It is most famous for the sloe gin fizz and the sloe screwdriver. Along with those, many cocktails and shots were created when sloe gin saw a peak in popularity during the 1970s and '80s:

While those are fun and a bit quirky, sloe gin also has a place in classier drinks. From the early 20th century, there are classic cocktails like the apricot brandy and rum delight called the millionaire cocktail. The San Francisco cocktail gives sloe gin more of a "real martini" treatment. 

The Charlie Chaplin was a hit in the 1910s and '20s at the Waldorf-Astoria and it's long remained a favorite sloe gin drink. Rather recently, some crafty mixologists created a companion cocktail, the Lita Grey. This modern Champagne drink has a classic style and is named after Chaplin's teenage bride.

You cannot discuss sloe gin without mentioning the flaming Homer (or "flaming Moe," if you prefer). It's a strange drink created on "The Simpsons " and is one of those oddities that is probably best left in the world of cartoons.

No matter how you choose to mix sloe gin, it's a spirit worth checking out. There's a good reason why it's seen waves of popularity over the last century.