A slug of this syrup at the bottom of a glass of champagne makes a great winter cocktail: fruity, spicy and sparkling with a mulberry glow, and redolent of bountiful hedgerows.

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  • 2kg Sloes Washed
  • 750ml Water
  • 1 Egg white
  • 80g Sugar
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 10 Allspice berries
  • 4 Cloves
  • Slices of orange and lemon zest Tied in a small piece of muslin
  • Champagne to serve


To make the syrup

  • STEP 1

    Place the sloes, water and the bag of spices into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Remove the spice bag and put it into a clean saucepan. Place a large piece of clean muslin in the saucepan, then pour in the cooked sloes.

  • STEP 3

    Tie the muslin at the corners and hang it up to drip into the pan overnight.

  • STEP 4

    In the morning, squeeze the cloth gently and then set aside. Remove the spice bag from the liquid.

  • STEP 5

    Beat the egg white, then whisk into the liquid.

  • STEP 6

    Bring all to the boil, stirring frequently and skimming off the froth on the surface.

  • STEP 7

    Cool, measure volume, then add 80g sugar per 100ml liquid. Boil until it starts to thicken and sugar is completely dissolved, cool slightly.

  • STEP 8

    Then pour into warm, sterile bottles and seal.

To make the cocktails

  • STEP 1

    Pour a dash of syrup into a glass and add Champagne.