Sloe gin is not gin at all. This plum-colored and plum-flavored spirit is sweet to sip, but plays nicely with citrus. Add some lemon and some spritz, and we have a lovely drink perfect for brunch.
Sloe gin comes from little fruits called sloes, a relative of larger plums. On their own, they are tart and unpleasant but our friends across the pond discovered how to turn them into a lovely spirit. It's not so popular these days, but at one time, it was consumed as a morning sip. Since we've been chatting about breakfast this week, I thought this would be our perfect pick for brunch.
This cocktail is typically made with lemon juice and sugar or simple syrup. I've replaced those ingredients with Limoncello and added some fresh Rosemary for an earthy quality (fresh mint works too). Your sloe gin matters here. While there are not usually many to choose from on your liquor store shelves, try to find an English brand. The domestic pours tend to by syrupy sweet and can crush the brightness this cocktail can offer.
Any drink that falls into the "fizz" category is best from from a bar because those soda guns really deliver the fizzy part. When making this at home, just pour high and your fizz will be bubblicious.
For tonight or tomorrow morning, this sip pairs equally well with a simple salad of mixed greens and a lemony vinaigrette or with a slice of triple creme Camembert — a lovely happy hour in less than ten minutes time.
Rosemary Sloe Gin Fizz
rosemary sprigs, one for muddling one for garnish
Strip the leaves from one of the sprigs of rosemary and place them in a cocktail shaker with the limoncello. Muddle gently. Add ice and the sloe gin and shake until well chilled.
Strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Pour the soda from high above the glass to create lots of bubbles; fill to the top. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
You can also make this drink with regular gin. While equally delicious, it won't be like the above pictured or as described.