Billy Sunday’s Blackthorn

Alex Bachman, Billy Sunday | Chicago

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 to 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.