Billy Sunday’s Blackthorn

Alex Bachman, Billy Sunday | Chicago

blackthorn cocktail billy sunday

Sloe gin is “definitely a product that went down the dark rabbit hole of poorly-made liquors for a long time,” says Alex Bachman of Chicago’s Billy Sunday. But, “when made correctly, it’s a fantastic ingredient that has a long history in classic cocktails, and can add really dark blue fruit character and a brambly greenness.”

Bachman incorporates it into this bergamot bitters-spiked riff on the traditional Blackthorn at Billy Sunday, made with either a California-produced sloe gin or, when feeling ambitious, one the bar infuses in-house.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces aged whiskey, preferably Knappogue 14-year
  • 3/4 ounce Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
  • 3/4 ounce sloe gin , preferably Spirit Works
  • 2 - 3 dashes bergamot bitters, preferably Willett

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice.
  2. Stir until chilled and strain into a chilled rocks glass.
  3. Express orange peel and discard.
Related Punch A-Z

Sloe Gin

(n.): Not a true gin, but a tart-sweet liqueur flavored with black thorn sloe berries (a relative to the plum) and made with a gin base. Brownish to ruby red in color, this English spirit is made by infusing gin with the astringent fruit, then adding sugar. In England and Ireland, it is most often [...] More A-Z →