It was only a matter of time before Hoxton became a brand. The trendiest hub in the east end now has its own gin. This gin was at the forefront of the menu for a master class at the Marriott Hotel.

Aptly named Hoxton – it is described as a’fresh and unconventional gin’.  The unconventional part being that the ingredients include a bizarre mix of coconut and grapefruit.   The recipe was thought up by the team behind the bar Hoxton Pony.  The father, son and son Calabrese team wanted to create a new gin that was’easy drinking gin’ that can work with any mixer not just the standard tonic..

John Calabrese describes the gin as’a new take on the classic gin.’ Adding,’it is more representative of now. Modern, bold and simple, it embodies what the east end has become.’

Last week saw Hoxton Gin team up with Gillray’s Steakhouse and bar to host this master class.  The spirit now features across the cocktail menu at the’most English of English dining destinations.’  As Hoxton tries to change people’s attitude towards the gentleman lover’s gin, Gillray’s tries to establish themselves as a bar on its own, away from the luxury Marriott hotel it sits in.

The master class began with a reception of gin infused canapés specially created by executive chef Gareth Bowen.  The succulent beef and smoked salmon parcels of delight kept me queuing for seconds and then thirds…

The evening then followed with a talk from the man of the hour John Calabrese, who took us through the journey of Hoxton Gin from the initial idea to the finished bottled product.

Then, the best part of any gin master class – cocktail shaking and tasting. Head bartender from Hoxton Pony, (and John) made a selection of seasonal cocktails, starting with the current season of spring, in the shape of a’Spring Collins’ right through to a wintery Sour Shakedown. Each cocktail certainly had a seasonal feel – the summer Hoxton Clover was fruity and light whilst the winter drink had a strong but warming taste.

The pros and, in paradox the cons, of this spirit are in its ingredients. It certainly has that fresh distinct taste it’s being sold as but, to smell it you would instantly think of Malibu. And to taste straight you would compare to a vodka and grapefruit mix.  

 As a spirit it is a perfect ingredient to mix in almost any cocktail. It worked well as a replacement in the classic rum based cocktails like a mojito, or daiquiri, and establishes newly invented cocktails which featured on the master class menu.

The downside to Hoxton Gin is it doesn’t actually taste anything like gin and is guaranteed to be snubbed by original gin lovers. If you ordered this gin, with tonic in a bar, you’ll be left wondering if the bartender made a mistake.

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