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Sloe Gin

Sloe gin is one of the most popular home-made alcoholic beverages, often prepared in the build-up to Christmas. It is an infusion of plain gin with sloe berries, also known as blackthorn, and a little sugar, though everyone has their own recipe. The berries are traditionally picked after the first frost of the year, and must be pricked before infusion to allow the juice to come out. You can either use uncut gin or dilute it with water to lower the alcohol content. Commercially-made sloe gin tends to be lower in alcohol than home-made varieties (and is generally closer to a liqueur than a gin), and in the European Union commercial sloe gin must be at least 50 proof. In some countries the local equivalent of sloe gin is made by infusing vodka or other spirits with sloe berries. A Sloe Gin Fizz cocktail is made by combining sloe gin with lemon juice, sugar, and soda, although home-made sloe gin is usually drunk neat, on the rocks, or with tonic.

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