If you’re in the market for an unusual gin experience, Hoxton Gin might be the spirit you’re looking for. Hoxton Gin is the brainchild of a bartender “geeking out over the beautiful spirit,” who set out to “create a fun gin that’s like no other on the market.” Well, it’s certainly fair to say that owner Gerry Calabrese has taken a beautiful spirit and made it distinctive, though perhaps not in a good way.
Many of the best gins carry with them the taste of London, where gin first became famous. This one, despite carrying the name of the trendiest neighborhood in the city, carries a different taste, one of Jamaica, perhaps.
According to marketing materials, the brand takes grain spirit and blends it with a mix of coconut, grapefruit, juniper, iris, tarragon and ginger.
The grapefruit flavor doesn’t seem like a bad idea, but the coconut overwhelms the palate. In its defense, Hoxton Gin garishly announces its unique flavor right on the bottle, with an obvious “Warning!” Take the warning at face value, because no matter what cocktail you attempt, you can’t hide from the coconut.
However, one can’t escape the idea that this may be the perfect gin to attract people who claim to dislike it. A number of London bars are trying to sell the idea that people who say they don’t like gin actually don’t like tonic, and are trying to push different mixes, particularly with grapefruit juice. Hoxton Gin is perfect for that.
In a nutshell, Hoxton Gin is not a bad spirit, but it may be better suited to experimental cocktails than old classics. If you don’t treat it like a traditional gin, you might just find that you love it.