The bottle says it all really. Bold and colourful, it's emblazoned with the words: 'Warning! Grapefruit and Coconut'. If you want to frighten your traditional gin drinkers, perhaps shove a bottle of Hoxton Gin under their nose. And if you want to induce some embarrassing flashbacks in someone whose first tipple of choice was malibu, again try giving them a bottle of Hoxton Gin. They smell remarkably similar.
The drink has been developed by Gerry Calabrese of the Hoxton Pony and pushes the boundary of the humble gin a bit further. Yes, it's got the juniper but add onto that a dominant taste of grapefruit and coconut, with added ginger, tarragon and iris. Open the bottle and the predominant smell is the coconut: hence those malibu flashbacks. At £36.50 a bottle from Harrods (who kindly sent me a bottle), I'm not sure if that's the first impression I'd want to get from such a pricey bottle. One of the Hoxton Gin's serving suggestions is The Naked Martini: pour it straight from the freezer to ice cold martini glass. In my home improvised version of this, the spirit was just too sweet for my tastes by itself.
Once I added tonic however, it was a different story. The fruits worked with the tonic to create a really refreshing drink - I think I could even taste the juniper. In fact, it's been the perfect thing to quaff over this lovely warm week. Next week I think I'm going to use the bank holidays to experiment a bit more with it: normally I'm a big fan of a spot of gin and juice but I wonder if that would just be too sweet with this gin. And I'll definitely mix someone up a Hoxton gin and coke - while I can't stand coke, I am interested to see how close it will taste to a malibu and coke, and whether any traumatic teenage moments result from the drinking. There's some tasty sounding cocktails on the hoxton gin website too - how about a Garden Spring Collins?
It's an expensive tipple and a bit of a risky purchase unless you know you are going to love the taste. If you are a gin purist, I advise you look at one of Harrods' other available gins instead for a special juniper treat. If, on the other hand, you like your drinks with a total tropical flavour and fancy a bit of experimentation, you can buy Hoxton gin for £36.50 in-store at Harrods, or online from The Whisky Exchange for £27.50.