* 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.
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.
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.