I’m gonna be honest with you – I have absolutely no idea who McClelland was or what significance this cocktail has for them. The name gives me vaguely Scottish themes but that could be complete nonsense, however this is the type of cocktail that would not be out of place on a cold Autumn night in the Scottish Highlands. It’s syrupy, sweet and the heat from the booze is guaranteed to give you a warm fuzzy feeling all over. Heck, if you’re feeling adventurous slap this bad boy in a hip flask the next time you go camping, I promise you it’ll be worth it.
The sloe gin is the key focus of this drink so it’s so so so important that you use a good quality one. Alternatively, you could try making it yourself so you can customise it to your preferences. Want it sweeter? Add some extra sugar towards the end! Want it stronger? Leave the sloes in to steep for a bit longer! This is the beauty of homemade liqueurs; it’s only done when you’re happy with it, and you don’t have to accept any less.
This is a pretty short drink, but you’ll want to sip this in small quantities so it’ll still last a decent amount of time. Don’t take in too much at once as it’ll overpower your senses; just sip a small amount, roll it over the tongue and let it coat your mouth to real taste every flavour facet.
The traditional recipe calls for orange bitters, however I recommend substituting Aperol in place of this for an even richer experience. This is ideal is you’re struggling to find orange bitters locally or prefer to keep a tightly stocked bar where you can reuse every bottle for multiple recipes.
As far as recipe expectations go, this was certainly a surprise. It subverted my expectations, so I highly recommend that you go and try it for yourself.
♦ 1 ½ ounces sloe gin
♦ ¾ ounce triple sec
♦ 2 dashes orange bitters or Aperol
Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.