Let It Sloe

This post contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here.

Get Our Recipes Sent To Your Inbox
Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Cocktail History

The Let It Sloe is a Christmas cocktail that was created by Emma Stokes and was first published in her book Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm Up Winter. Essentially a spruced up tonic drink, the recipe mixes port wine and sloe gin, which is technically a liqueur, with apricot brandy and some aromatic bitters to create a dry yet unique beverage that’s named as a play on the classic holiday tune, “Let It Snow.”

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sloe Gin: This is a liqueur made with sloes, sugar, and alcohol. We used Plymouth Sloe Ginbecause it’s the original sloe gin with a rich flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Wild Berry Syrup in place of the sloe gin.

Ruby Port: This is a fortified wine made in Portugal with a blend of red grapes. We used Sandeman Fine Ruby Porto because it has a full-bodied flavor with notes of fruit, chocolate, and spices. For a mocktail version of this drink, try R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice mixed with lime zest in place of the wine.

Apricot Brandy: This is a liqueur made with apricots, spices, sugar, and brandy. We used Phillips Apricot Brandy because it’s flavorful and affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative and Monin Premium Stone Fruit Syrup in place of the apricot brandy.

Red Wine Syrup: This is a sweetener made with Cabernet Sauvignon and sugar. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Aromatic Bitters: This is a food product made with botanicals, herbs, and alcohol. We used Angostura Aromatic Bitters. For a mocktail version of this drink, try All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters.

Tonic Water: This is a carbonated water that has been infused with quinine. We used QMixers Tonic Water.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Tasting Notes

The Let It Sloe has the fruity aromas of sloe liqueur and a fairly dry flavor that blends very deep red port wine, slight sloe sweetness, fruit, and herbs with the bitter accent of tonic water.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We have to admit that, with the ingredients we had access to, we did not unanimously love the Let It Sloe. We’d love to know how it ends up being with a high-quality sloe gin though, so if you do have a bottle of that hanging around, then please make it and let us know how it turns out!

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I didn’t really love this drink as it was originally presented, to be honest. It was a dry, red-wine flavor bomb with slightly chemical sloe flavor and tonic. I’ll fully admit we didn’t have a bottle of great sloe gin at the time, but even so, the drink didn’t quite have the sweetness it needed for great balance. We added a small splash of red wine syrup to the mix to add some sugar, and that definitely made it better but still not quite amazing. I’d certainly call it enjoyable, as long as you’d consider a Gin & Tonic enjoyable since tonic itself can be polarizing.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐
“It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a drink made with sloe gin, so I didn’t really know what to expect of this recipe. I will admit I did not think it would be as off-putting as I found it to be, especially given its categorization as a Christmas cocktail. Maybe I’m just not used to tonic water’s quinine bitterness, but I did not like the juxtaposition of the mixer alongside the other candy-sweet ingredients. Alex’s addition of red wine syrup definitely helped, but this just wasn’t for me. If anyone’s going to tempt me to it again, I think it would need a lot of work before I’d find it truly palatable.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm Up Winter by Emma Stokes.

Sale
Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm up Winter
Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail: 80 Cheerful Tipples to Warm up Winter
Hardcover Book; Stokes, Emma (Author); English (Publication Language); 144 Pages – 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) – Pop Press (Publisher)
$15.24 Amazon Prime

AuthorHave Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 oz Sloe Gin
 ½ oz Port Wine
 ¼ oz Apricot Brandy
 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 2 oz Tonic Water

Method
1

Add sloe gin, wine, apricot brandy, red wine syrup, bitters, and cubed ice to a lowball glass.

2

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

3

Top with tonic water.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 oz Sloe Gin
 ½ oz Port Wine
 ¼ oz Apricot Brandy
 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
 2 oz Tonic Water

Directions

Method
1

Add sloe gin, wine, apricot brandy, red wine syrup, bitters, and cubed ice to a lowball glass.

2

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

3

Top with tonic water.

Let It Sloe

Make It a Mocktail: Use Monin Premium Wild Berry Syrup in place of the sloe gin, R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice mixed with lime zest in place of the wine, Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative and Monin Premium Stone Fruit Syrup in place of the apricot brandy, and All The Bitter Alcohol-Free Aromatic Bitters in place of the aromatic bitters to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

More Christmas Cocktails

If you like this Christmas-inspired cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Holiday Gin Mule Cocktail Recipe

Holiday Gin Mule: A blackcurrant gin cocktail made with apple cinnamon syrup, lime juice, ginger beer, rosemary, and cranberries

Kohler Mint Cocoa Cocktail Recipe

Kohler Mint Cocoa: A chocolate mint brandy cocktail made with milk, white peppermint schnapps, dark crème de cacao, cocoa powder, whipped cream, and grated chocolate

Sugar Cookie Cocktail Recipe

Sugar Cookie Cocktail: A vanilla vodka cocktail made with amaretto, Irish cream liqueur, heavy cream, simple syrup, and sprinkles

Cranberry Cobbler Cocktail Recipe

Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, an orange wedge, mint, and cranberries

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-06-23.

Leave a comment