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Drink Of The Week: Sloe Gin Fizz

A Fizz—that sounds interesting, but sloe gin? Isn't that the sickeningly sweet red stuff from from when you were young and didn't know any better? Well, yes and no. And, that's a problem we need to overcome if we are to restore this drink to its rightful place as a refreshing classic. To get there, we need to understand a few things about our base spirit. Sloe gin isn't actually gin at all, or rather, it isn't gin anymore.

It's supposed to start as gin, but during an infusion of sloe berries (from the blackthorn bush, related to the plum), sugar is added and it slowly transforms into a liqueur. That seems straightforward enough. The problem is that American manufacturers have cheapened the process over the years to the point that most of what you find on shelves today isn't even made with gin. Untold artificial flavors and too much

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