London Mules with Haycocks No 9

* This is a collaborative post

I am rather partial to a spot of gin. Which given its popularity right now is handy. So when I was invited to a Gin tasting and masterclass with Haycocks No 9, I think you can probably work out what my answer was.

Had I heard of Haycocks No 9 before? No, but there’s so many gins out there that that didn’t surprise me. What I learnt though was that it’s a spiced gin liqueur, it goes with everything (quite literally - and you know me, I like to be thorough in my testing) and I found a new gin to add to my gin list.

We were greeted on arrival with a London Mule - Haycocks No 9, fresh ginger, lime juice and ginger beer, and very welcome it was too. In fact it’s a drink we might have had at least another of as the masterclass ended.

I’ve already mentioned that there’s hundreds of gins out there, so I was curious when they said the last thing they wanted to was make another gin, because the world doesn’t need another one. They didn’t want to add just another flavour. They realised that despite mixing so well, gin was never made for mixing, predating cocktails and tonic by decades.

Their inspiration is the humble coriander seed. Bear with me.

London Mules with Haycocks No 9

That’s why gin mixes so well, so they thought they’d create something different, but something that mixes as well as gin, but tastes like nothing else. And from the tastings we had, both with mixers and neat, it definitely tastes good.

Its botanicals are chosen not just for how well they go together, but also for how well they mix individually. Each one had to bring a citrus, zingy or uplifting spice note to the party. Think turbo-lemon-sherbert for grownups. But here’s the thing, there’s no lemon in sight. Unless you add a slice, of course.

As is my way I managed to choose a mixer that on its own sounded good but didn’t really deliver (Fentiman’s sparkling lime and jasmine drink - the one in the instagram photo above.), but when mixed with the gin, was very, very drinkable. In fact Haycocks paired with Fentimans at Taste London as the pairing worked so well. MOH tried his with Cherry Coke - also good (though I’m not a Cherry Coke fan), and with San Pellegrino bitters, again also good.

Haycock's Flavour pairing wheel

What’s more they explain the science on their website. And if you’re not feeling quite so brave, or need a bit of help or structure then there’s a fab Flavour Pairing Wheel which you can download too.

And as they said on the night it did take a fair bit of tasting to create, though no brand owners were permanently broken in the making of it (only temporarily!)

Tough work, I guess. But worth it.

Thanks Haycocks No 9 for a great evening, and for providing the opportunity to try your spiced gin liqueur with so many mixers.

* I was invited to this event to try the product and share an honest review on my blog. All views shared here, are as ever, my own.


Reflecting on my week #98

I don’t think I’ve had so much time away from my blog for quite a while, if ever. But that time away isn’t because I’ve fallen out of love with it, but more because when things are full on something has to give, and that thing has been this space. Which thinking about it objectively like that, I’m not so happy about.

Today I’ve had a day out of the office at a conference for work, and it has been the best thing. Yes, work is busy, and a day out now could be classed as indulgent, but it’s also amazing for the perspective it brings. All round. I left Victoria today feeling more inspired than I have done for a while, still with a list of things I want to achieve as long as my arm, but with renewed determination to tackle the important things.

That includes making time again for this space. Making time for proper meals. And making time to do things that bring joy - and incase you think that’s related to a big tidy up, it isn’t, but it is about spending time together when we can both get off the treadmill of work-sleep-repeat.

MOH’s had it worse than me though, his hours have been crazy. When there’s seventeen hours overtime done in a single day, yes seriously, it’s all a bit wrong. It’s amazing what clarity there is when you have time, and headspace. And views like this from Platform 2 at Victoria earlier on.

view from platform 2

No doubt tomorrow I’ll be back on the grindstone and my resolve will be challenged, probably more than once. But there is only so much you can do, isn’t there?

So what else has been going on? There’s been gin. Well more precisely gin liqueur tasting. MOH headed off to Shoreditch on a Monday night and drank some gin. And very civilised - and tasty - it was too. I’ll share more another day though.

There’s been cake too. We wandered into the Farmers' Market in the Village last weekend for cake, it’s the rules when at Farmers’ Markets. And we left with two weird and wonderful creations. Mine was green, totally vegan, sugar free and as tasty as it was unusual looking. MOH opted for something slightly more traditional, but equally as gooey and between us we demolished the two - we had to share each one (another rule) and in keeping with my digital hiatus, there’s no photos.

Sunday afternoon was spent on the sun loungers in the garden, and after a long Saturday, it was needed to recover. Wasn’t the weather nice, and wasn’t it nice to be able to just sit out in the garden again? Looking ahead to this week, we’re already planning to head out to lunch on Sunday after England’s first game in the Rugby World Cup, though I noticed today as I came past our planned restaurant of choice it’s closed for a refurb, let’s hope they’re quick and open again by the weekend, or that could backfire, somewhat.

Making three ingredient scones

I am rather partial to a scone. Whether it’s plain, fruit or cheese. With afternoon tea, or with soup (the cheese ones obviously). If you’re a cream then jam, or a jam then cream kind of person, I don’t mind.

I read a recipe recently, in the Sunday papers, about a three ingredient cookbook. It clearly stuck with me - one of the recipes was for scones - and I developed a scone craving. So while MOH cut the grass I gave it a go.

Can three ingredient scones, really work? The answer is kind of. Probably not for scone aficionados, but I think they’d be good for a scone craving, a bit of a science lesson or if you ever had the need for impromptu scones.



Yes, that’s right lemonade and cream and flour. And it works, weirdly. It fizzes too, hence the science lesson comment before. The recipe called for the flour to be sifted. Usually I wouldn’t bother, but given it was already a cheat recipe, I did. And quickly remembered why I usually don’t.

the downsides of sifting flour

I do bake, but with more of a rustic style. Usually I can manage scones though. This time the mixture was quite claggy and my cutter was struggling, so they weren’t all quite as scone-like as perhaps they should be.

scones ready for the oven

They taste ok though, with not unexpectedly, a hint of lemon.

The most scone looking scone

Some looked like scones (see above), but others just looked as if they had a comb-over.

the scone with a comb over

They taste like scones though. And one added to our lunch, means there’s less chance I’ll be hunting down some chocolate.

What do you think? Would you try them?