“ Type: Gin „
My favourite alcoholic drink without a shadow of a doubt is a Gin & Tonic. My gin of preference is always Bombay Sapphire, and my favourite way to serve it is over lots of ice, with slimline tonic, and a chunky wedge of lime (never lemon). I'll take it with regular tonic and a slice of lemon if that's all there is, but slimline and lime is my favourite way to go. My second favourite way to serve it is when mixed with cranberry juice and slimline tonic, again over lots of ice. I'm also happy enough to take most other gins if there's no Bombay Sapphire available, but I can definitely tell the difference though, and I've even actually returned a gin & tonic in a restaurant before when I've specifically asked for Bombay Sapphire and have been given something else.
We received a bottle of Hawker's Sloe Gin as a Wedding Anniversary gift earlier this year, and it's only just recently that we've got around to drinking it. I guess that they chose Sloe Gin as we are both huge gin lovers, myself especially - I'm a huge gin fiend. Sloe Gin is just that little bit different, it's a bit more interesting to give as a gift I guess than just a regular bottle of gin. The Sloe Gin was very gratefully received at the time as it's something that we'd not had before.
Hawkers Sloe Gin is a traditional English product and is batch made and matured in the city of Plymouth. It is made with 100% wild picked Dartmoor Sloes, Dartmoor water and full strength premium gin. The sloe gin is a very deep purple colour, reflecting the colour of the sloe berries in the gin. Sloe berries are the fruit of the wild blackthorn which grows naturally in the countryside. Sloe berries apparently have a bitter taste until they are sweetened, so you would imagine that they would be the perfect addition to gin as gin is quite a bitter and dry spirit. Hawker's Sloe Gin is quite a bit lower in alcohol content than regular gin which is around 38-40%, Hawker's Sloe Gin is only 28%.
So how does it taste? Not that great actually!
I was really disappointed with the Sloe Gin, I'd expected to love it as I love gin so much, but I really didn't love it at all. I thought it was far too sweet, gin isn't a sweet drink at all and so to have a sweet flavour to this was really quite odd. The gin definitely had a fruity taste, I'm not sure if it tasted like sloe berries as such, as I don't actually know what sloe berries taste like! But it did have a very sweet and fruity taste, too sweet and fruity in my opinion, the fruity taste far overpowered the dry taste of the gin. It reminded me a little bit of an alco-pop actually, with it having the lower alcohol content and with it being so sweet.
I found that even when mixed with just slimline tonic water which would normally make for a lovely long, cool and refreshing drink, that the taste of the sloe gin was still too overpoweringly fruity and sweet. The best way that we found to drink the sloe gin was when mixed in a cocktail along with a few other ingredients, as this masked the fruitiness as there were other flavours in the drink too.
I wouldn't not recommend the Hawker's Sloe Gin, it obviously all depends upon your tastes, in fact for people that think that gin is a bit too bitter then this may well be something that they would love. For me personally it was just too fruity and sweet and not something that I really liked. My husband didn't like it either, he basically had the same opinion as me - too fruity and sweet for a gin. We will use the remainder of the bottle up in cocktails, but it isn't something that we will purchase another bottle of.