Sloe Gin alternative: Classic Basque liqueur Patxaran


Here is a Sloe Gin alternative courtesy of northern Spain: a classic Basque drink called Patxaran. It is similar to sloe gin but made with Anise rather than Gin.

Patxaran is a very popular drink in El País Vasco (The Basque Country) dating back to the middle ages that is made by soaking sloe berries (Endrinas) in Anisette/Anise for between one and eight months with some coffee beans and cinnamon. It is simple to make and tastes great, especially after a meal to help the digestion. If you have access to a blackthorn tree and sloes, Patxaran is a wonderful Sloe Gin alternative.

Patxaran is usually taken chilled or with ice. The alcohol percentage is between 25% and 30%. Anisette/Anise liqueurs are common in Spain and you can easily find cheap and cheerful brands that are fine for making Pataran. Outside of Spain there tend to be less options, with Pernod and Sambuca the most commonly found.

How to make your own Patxaran

Ingredients (for 1 litre of Patxaran):

  • 1 litre of anise
  • 250 grams of sloes
  • 12 coffee beans
  • I cinnamon stick


Put everything in a bottle and leave for about 6 months. Less if you can’t wait!

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