The names related to “sloe” come from Germanic word. The fruit is similar to a small damson or plum,suitable for preserves, but rather tart and astringent for eating, unless it is picked after the few days of autumn frost. This effect can be reproduced by freezing harvested sloes. The shrub, with its savage thorns, is traditionally used in Britain and other parts of Northern Europe to make a cattle-proof hedge.The fruit, called a “sloe”, is a drupe 10–12 millimetres in diameter, black with a purple-blue waxy bloom, ripening in autumn, and harvested—traditionally, at least in the UK, in October or November after the first frosts. Sloes are thin-fleshed, with a very strongly astringent flavour when fresh.
The juice is used in the manufacture of spurious port wine, and used as an adulterant to impart roughness to genuine port. In rural Britain, so-called SLOE GIN is made from the fruit, though this is not a true gin, but an infusion of gin with the fruit and sugar to produce liquor. In Spain, a popular liquor called “pacharan” is made with sloe. In France, a similar liquor is made from the young shoots in spring. In Italy, the infusion of spirit with the fruits and sugar produces a liquor called “bargnolino”. Wine made from fermented sloes is made in Britain and in Germany and other central European countries. In Hungary , the Sloe Palinka made from 100% fruit the traditional 44-46% spirit distillery is high quality product no added sugar just mineral water.