Friday, July 19

Andrew Kay: Mother’s ruin

- September 3, 2013

For some time now Brighton has been the cocktail mixology capital of Europe, if not the world. London might like to think it is king but it hasn’t got a beach so they can’t have sex on it! Yah boo sucks to the capital and long live Brighton!

“London might like to think it is king but it hasn’t got a beach so they can’t have sex on it! Yah boo sucks to the capital and long live Brighton!”

I love a nice cocktail and have my favourite haunts as well as my favourite tipples. I can often be found with the Food Fest Crew in Hotel du Vin, we rather like Brighton Rocks in Kemp Town too, and I still love Merkaba in myHotel – they make a very good Margarita but then so does La Choza, another favourite haunt.

I love Margaritas but my favourite drinks are those made with gin. From a straight Kendricks and tonic with cucumber to a classic French 75, I like them all.
I was recently sent a rather fascinating new gin from London.

It’s called Hoxton Gin and it is the creation of mixologist and entrepreneur Gerry Calabrese. He had the idea of recreating the classic gin spirit whilst creating a fun brand like no other on the market. He certainly has managed that. Hoxton Gin is smooth, easy and certainly different.

Made using the finest natural and ethically sourced ingredients including; coconut, grapefruit, iris, tarragon and ginger, Gerry claims that this is a gin that opens up a whole new world of drinking and cocktail possibilities.

Well, I had to give it a try. My first was a cheeky snifter at my desk, being just before noon it was a tiny tot drunk neat to discover the full flavour profile. It’s a smooth drink alright, the fire of the spirit tempered by the creamy note of coconut.

The sweetness of the coconut is tempered by the ginger and grapefruit in turn. I liked it, I can’t see me mixing it with tonic, but when I got home I squeezed a passion fruit into a tall glass, added a large shot of Hoxton and topped it up with Ridegview Cavendish which I just happened to have on the go. It made a damned fine twist on the French 75.

A classic Hoxton Gin cocktail is the Hoxton Stone Sour; a delicious combination of grape, lemon and orange blended with Hoxton Gin and honey. A fruity and refreshing tipple to enjoy in the sunshine. Or The Garden Spring Collins is a light lemon and elderflower cocktail served in a tall glass with cubed ice. The rhubarb and sugar additions complement each other for a sweet and sparkling drink with a tangy kick.

I will be putting my Hoxton through its paces in preparation for the Big Brighton Mix-off – part of the Autumn Harvest Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival which takes place over 10 days from Thursday 5 September.

Hoxton Gin is available at Brighton & Hove Tesco in a 70cl bottle – RRP £26.19 (ABV 43%)

Brighton Mix Off Cocktail Competition, Thursday 12 September 2013, 7pm–9.30pm, Sea Life Centre, Marine Parade. Advance tickets £12 including three taster tickets from the festival website or £16 on the door.

Follow me: @latestandrew

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