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Sloe Gin Substitute

Sloe Gin, according to some, is the best usage for sloes. Christmas would be incomplete without a bottle (or, depending on your preference, Vodka), but Sloe Gin is a delightful beverage to enjoy at any time.

Sloes should be picked after the first frosts, but when they are ripe and ready to pick varies depending on where you live, so expect to be out harvesting from late August to early October—fortunately, this still leaves enough time for soaking in preparation for Christmas.

However, since you may not always have sloe gin readily available for your use, you may need to have a good backup plan by paying attention to the remarkable sloe gin substitutes highlighted in this article.

What Is Sloe Gin

Sloe gin is a liquor with a sloe berry flavor. Sloe berries (Blackthorn) are blue-colored, marble-sized fruits related to plums. In the popular Sloe Gin Fizz, sloe gin is a major ingredient.

Notably, sloe gin is a crimson liqueur prepared in the United Kingdom with gin and sloes. Notably, the alcohol percentage in sloe gin ranges from 15 to 30% by volume. On the other hand, the European Union has set a minimum ABV of 25% for sloe gin to be labeled as such.

Sloe gin is technically a gin-based liqueur. But because of its popular history when the EU spirit drink regulations were made – the colloquial name ‘sloe gin’ was included in the legal definitions. Therefore, it is the only gin-based liqueur legally called gin without the suffix.

Sloe gin is traditionally made by soaking the sloes in gin.

Sloe Gin Used in Recipes

Sloe gin is typically taken plain or in warm cocktails like a hot toddy. Still, it’s also great over ice, mixed with a light, neutral tonic and garnished with a sprig of rosemary, or even topped off with prosecco for a fantastic sparkling aperitif.

See some refreshing recipes that well utilize sloe gin:

  • Sloe Gin Fizz
  • Sloe Gin & Tonic
  • Blackthorn Cocktail Recipe
  • Sloegroni
  • Brunch Cocktail Recipe: Rosemary Sloe Gin Fizz
  • Sloe Gin and Liqueur Recipe
  • Severn Bites Sloe Gin
  • Sloe Gin Punch
  • Sloe gin Royale
  • Dam Royal Sloe Gin Fizz
  • Sloe Gin Hot Toddy with Blackberries
  • Sloe Gin Jellies
  • Sloe gin gravlax
  • Sloe Cordial
  • Sloe gin crumble

Sloe Gin Substitutes

Try one of these amazing slow gin alternatives if you don’t have any sloe gin on hand.

Plum Brandy

Notably, many plum brandies on the market might work as a substitute for sloe gin. Sljivovica is plum-based alcohol that is Serbia’s national drink.

Since it has a higher alcohol level, use recipes like sloe gin fizz or negroni to cut down on the amount. When served with a dried prune, this drink is also a wonderful digestive.

Another plum brandy is Vizantija Plum Rakija, which is distilled from three different varieties of plums. It has a fruity, nutty flavor with a vanilla scent and has matured for four years.

Remember that the plum brandies we looked at were clear or amber in hue. Your cocktails may not look the same as if you used sloe gin in some circumstances.



If you are looking for a non-alcoholic alternative to sloe gin, grenadine is good. Grenadine is a popular bar syrup that gives mocktails and cocktails a tantalizing red hue. You will not be disappointed if you include it in your next hedgerow royale.

Notably, the three major ingredients in homemade grenadine syrup are pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice, which provide the perfect combination of tart and sweet. On the other hand, store-bought grenadine is frequently produced with just high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid, and red food coloring.

Since pomegranate is widely used to make grenadine, the flavor differs slightly from sloe gin. It’s sweet and tart, but it’ll provide a fruity flavor to your drinks. It’s also easy to find in liquor stores because it’s always a bartender’s favorite.

Sloe Berry Syrup

Cocktail lovers will adore sloe berry syrup as a backup ingredient. Slow berry syrup is a non-alcohol mixer that imitates the flavor of the liqueur you’re seeking to replace in beverages.

Since this drink is difficult to come by outside the United Kingdom, an online purchase may be necessary. To increase the amount of alcohol in your next gin fizz, add a shot of gin.

Dried Sloe Berries

Dried Sloe Berries

Sloe berries growing naturally on the Blackthorn bush are difficult to come by for most people worldwide. Fortunately, dried berries can be found in specialist food stores and internet vendors. For creating sloe gin, these jewels work (nearly) as well as the fresh ones!

When your order arrives, put a cup of them in a quart jar and cover it off with dry gin. This is a long-term investment. Allow them to sit for two months, shaking them occasionally to aid in the infusion of the fruit.

Moreover, sloes are harsh and sour when eaten raw, but they are delicious when preserved. They have a strong plum flavor, Orange zest, cloves, cinnamon, or almond essence can flavor.

You can even make sloe gin, sloe wine, sloe jelly, sloe syrup, and sloe plum cheese with them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between ordinary and sloe gin?

Sloe gin is a type of liqueur, while gin is a type of spirit. The alcohol concentration of sloe gin can be lower than that of gin. Gin has a lower sugar content than sloe gin. Gin is prepared using classic distillation methods, but sloe gin is created by steeping sugar and sloe berries in gin.

What is the flavor of sloe gin?

The flavor of Sloe Gin is determined by the quality of the ingredients. High-quality sloe gin will have a plum flavor and an earthy, raisiny texture. They’re frequently quite sweet. The aroma of almonds, which emanates from the fruit’s pit, is common in the best ones.

What is the best sloe gin mixer?

Sloe gin is sweet and fruity, with a plum and red berries aroma. This fruity sweetness is a wonderfully balanced and refreshing lengthy sip when combined with the bitter overtones found in Fever-Tree Lemon Tonic Water.


Sloe gin is not the same as gin; therefore, don’t interchange the terms. Plum brandy can be used in place of sloe gin.

If you wish to cut the alcohol, try grenadine or, if you can find it, sloe berry syrup. However, the only way to obtain the same flavor as a store-bought bottle of sloe berry gin is to make your own.