The Blackthorn bush is a hedgerow mainstay, synonymous with foraging in the UK for it’s autumn sloeberries. For many, including myself, this shrub was a childhood gateway to foraging, with memories of picking brambles and sloes in the minds of many. These berries are abundant throughout Autumn and hold a flavour as deep and dark as it’s colour, with a tartness used to produce yearly vintages of Sloe Gin, leaving the berries to macerate for months to be enjoyed over the festive period. Craft bartending has brought more creative approaches to traditional recipes, and the modern technique needed to ensure the quality, consistency and speed necessary for the modern fast-paced bar and bartender. With this in mind, I set out to make a Sloe Vermouth.
I opted not to use a house-made seasonal vermouth for this infusion, but the dry vermouth from French producer Dolin de Chambery. This particular producer uses a range of botanicals picked close to it’s native town of Chambery, a mountainous town in the French Alps to craft a product reflective of it’s terroir. The light aromatics and dryness make it a perfect match to allow the depth of the sloeberries to shine. I lightly sweeten the compound with a Noble Fir Honeywater, which adds a delicate, citrus-like top-note to the fruit-soaked fortified wine.
- 700ml Dolin de Chambery Dry Vermouth
- 300g Sloeberries
- 40ml Noble Fir Honeywater
- Small Scales
- Vacuum machine
- Vacuum Bags
- Water Bath
- Heat-proof Jar
Add all ingredients into vacuum bag and seal with vacuum machine. Set water bath to 52degrees, submerge vacuum bag and leave for 1 hour. Leave to rest, then strain the liquid through a Chinois. Once filtering, bottle and enjoy.