The Essence Of Sloe Berry

Every Autumn, bounding hedgerows of the Scottish countryside welcome the flourish of the blackthorn tree’s, sloe berries. As the leaves turn brown, and the nip of an early winter frost begins, the plump deep purple sloe berries bejewel our local woodlands.

Every Autumn, bounding hedgerows of the Scottish countryside welcome the flourish of the
blackthorn tree’s, sloe berries. As the leaves turn brown, and the nip of an early winter frost
begins, the plump deep purple sloe berries bejewel our local woodlands.


Where does the sloe berry come from?


Sloe berries are the ripe fruit of the blackthorn tree (or Prunus spinosa) which are most
commonly found blossoming in woodlands up and down Britain. The blackthorn tree is also
native to Western Asia and parts of North America. The shrub blooms a delicate scattering of
tiny white flowers in the late months of Spring. All in preparation for nature’s wild harvest of the
rich cloud of sloe berries on the cusp of Autumn.


How sloe berry reacts with our senses...


Despite its petite form, the sloe berry packs a powerful punch of flavour. Once ripe and picked
straight from the stalk, the berry has a mouth-watering tart taste. The sloe is a wild plum, so it’s
often a little too sour for most to eat au naturel. Once infused, most commonly in gin to create a
liqueur, the sloe exuberates deep, rich flavours of winter fruits. Like most berries, the sloe berry
does not possess a pungent scent unless the skin is burst, even then it only gives off a light
sweet fragrance.


What flavours compliment sloe berry?


As the sloe berry boasts a tart tangy taste it often pairs well with sweeter flavours. Throughout
the winter months, a sloe berry-infused liqueur will often be served neat after dining. However,
sloe berry can be the secret ingredient to some of the most refreshing summer beverages -
you’ve just not tried them yet! Mix sloe gin with sparkling tonic water and a dash of lemonade to
make the perfect summer’s day cooler whilst reclining in the garden. Or, for a more formal
occasion, top up your flute of champagne with a measure of sloe berry liqueur for your very own
sloe berry fizz! We’ve paired the infusion of sloe berry with our birch-bud spirit to create a
seamless blend of Scottish botanical flavours in our Birch & Sloe Liqueur. This is a gorgeously
unique combination of the rich, deep fruity flavours of the sloe berry with the long warm and
forest fresh-flavour of the birch. It makes for a beautiful alternative to a sloe gin liqueur and a
fantastic cocktail ingredient.


Sloe berry in mythology


The roots of the blackthorn tree and its sloe berry fruit can be traced as far back as the days of
the early man. Throughout history, sloe berries have been accredited for having magical powers and played a significant role in natural and herbal medicinal practices. The blackthorn tree itself
is highly symbolic in ancient Celtic culture. The branches of the tree carried the connotations of
death and warfare. It’s even believed to have associations with Scottish witchcraft, whereby the
beginning of winter would be announced by the Cailleach (Goddess of Winter) who would
thrash the ground with her staff made of blackthorn.

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