Sloe is indeed quite slow. A plump and plum-like berry of the blackthorn tree, it is best steeped in gin and sugar and left alone for a few years. With time, the tart flavor mellows into a clean cordial-like cognac and the sloe’s color bleeds into the gin, turning it a little murky before it clarifies into a ruby hue. Sloe gin can age for up to a decade, but for instant nonalcoholic gratification, display clusters of the blue black berries and lush leaves in fall floral centerpieces.
September 4, 2007