In A Nutshell

Totally tropical tasting gin with a massive dose of modern day London attitude

Warning: Hoxton Gin

 

TCL RATING:

What They Say

“Hoxton gin is the child of a highly lauded bartender geeking out over the beautiful spirit. Immersed in the creative juices of Hoxton, he had the idea of recreating a classic; to create a fun gin that’s like no other on the market.”

What We Say

Well, Gerry Calabrese has definitely fulfilled his own brief. Whether you like the result or not is another matter entirely. We admire the fact that he’s dug his heels in, put his forefingers in his ears, done the ‘la-la-la’ thing and refused to listen to any criticism for his concept of a drink heavy on the coconut and grapefruit. We also like it that he’s gone all out to capture the non-conformist, directional and ****-off attitude of Hoxton in a free spirited gin. Not that it won’t attract criticism – there are far too many purists out there to let its unique characteristics slip by without passing muster. It’s a bit hazy as to whether the dominating coconut makes it truly qualify as a gin, but it’s worth a sip before dismissing it entirely. It’s new, it’s different, it’s kinda intriguing. We’re not saying it’s our new favourite gin but we were pleasantly surprised at its versatility.

Ms S

At the launch we tried it in a few cocktails, starting Naked martini style. Crikey moses it was strong – and there’s nowhere to hide from that coconut. You get it on the nose as soon as you raise your glass and by the time it reaches your lips, it’s like you’ve landed in a liquid Bounty bar. Once you get past that, the juniper suddenly makes a demure appearance but it’s all too heavy for me. The Naked Martini might have put me off altogether if it hadn’t been for the English Daiquiri which came next. This is more like it. The coconut comes into its own here – talk about tropical, in this guise it brings to mind Caribbean sunsets or keeping it closer to home, the Notting Hill Carnival. The Hoxton Stone Sour also works rather well but by the time the Collins came round, I was coconutted out. We did mix it up in a regular martini at home a few days later which didn’t really do it for me but once again, the Hoxton style daiquiri came out a winner.

Mr G

If it wasn’t called gin everybody would just be simply judging this new spirit on it own merits. But then there wouldn’t be any furore and where’s the fun in that? The truth is it makes an extremely unusual Dry Martini. While I might not recommend it to die-hard martini consumers I would definitely say give it a go to open-minded cocktail drinkers. It’s huge on the coconut up front, followed by hints of the grapefruit and finally some juniper. In the English Daiquiri we tried at the launch and at home it was delicious, sitting much more comfortably as an ingredient rather than the star of the show. Moreover it does a very nice job of making over that staple Middle England tipple, the Gin and Tonic, with a nice bit of East London attitude. I’ll be watching, and tasting, with interest what barmen come up with when using it in cocktails – I think the results could well be very tasty.

Fun Fact

To be fair, it’s not the first time Gerry has unleashed this unconventional product on the market. First off it was labelled CP Gin (the initials of Calabrese and then partner Andy Pearson) and marketed at bartenders. It didn’t do well. This time the recipe has been adjusted a bit, the location of the bar has taken centre stage and the emphasis is on the consumer. We think it’s going to do much better.

Recipes

English Daiquiri

English Daiquiri, Hoxton style

50ml Hoxton gin
20ml lemon juice
20ml Creme de Cacao
Dash of sugar syrup

Method
Shake over ice and strain straight up in a coupette, no garnish.

Hoxton Stone Sour

50ml Hoxton gin
20ml lemon juice
20ml orange juice
15ml honey syrup (2:1 honey to water)
3 red grapes

Method
Shake and strain over cubed ice in a 12oz rocks glass. Garnish with grapes, lemon wedge and mint sprig and serve with a short straw.

Garden Spring Collins

50ml Hoxton gin
20ml rhubarb puree
20ml elderflower cordial
15ml lemon juice
Soda water

Method
Shake and strain over cubed ice into a 14oz hi-ball glass. Top up with soda and garnish with lemon wedge and mint sprig. Serve with a long straw.

Shoreditch Swizzle

50ml Hoxton gin
30ml grapefruit juice
20ml honey syrup
15ml lime juice
10ml Velvet Falernum
6 mint leaves

Method
Add all ingredients to a 14oz hi-ball glass with crushed ice and stir vigorously. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with mint sprig. Serve with long straw.

Taste
Packaging
Desirability
Value

The Details

43% volume, 70cl bottle £27.95 from thewhiskyexhange.com

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