Yes, I realise it’s now October and I also realise that I am hideously late with this review…
I received this product back in June 2016 and it’s taken me until recently to get around to trying the product. I know that’s hard to believe, because, erm, GIN, but the summer was just the most incredibly busy time for. Not that I am complaining of course, it was ace, and it goes without saying that there was plenty of gin drinking occurring but I wanted to give the Gin Explorer box the full attention it deserved.
Brought to you by the uber fantastic people behind Gin Festival (awesome gin events – many copies have started to pop up but none will ever beat the original and the bestest!), Gin Explorer is a monthly subscription service – for some of the best gins you’ll ever lay your hands on, giving you the opportunity to try new products and perhaps even discover yourself a new favourite.
Let me start by saying that I would never label myself a gin connoisseur, gin soaked yes, gin expert, no. I would never have really thought I knew that much about it, however having attended a couple of Gin Festivals in the past, I think it’s fair to say my knowledge of gin has now increased – and I don’t just mean in the drinking of it! I have attended many masterclasses at Gin Festival and it’s fair to say, I am somewhat of a gin snob these days. Gin has stolen my heart and the craftier the better!
In your Gin Explorer box you have four 50ml miniature bottles of gin, all beautifully packaged, and now I want to tell you a little bit about each of the ones that arrived in the June box.
Pinkster – This was already a favourite from Gin Festivals past and I even recently attended a Pinkster masterclass where I was asked to ‘spank the mint’. This is NOT a euphemism. Pinkster was launched in 2013 and is distilled in small batches, with it’s name coming from it’s lovely pink colour (which I learned was totally accidental) – which in turns comes from the locally grown raspberries that are hand-steeped to create this gin. I am a big fan of Pinkster which is best served simply with raspberries and mint! Of course there are many signature cocktails you could make like the Pinktini or the Pink Paloma but I am a simple girl with simple tastes…
Masons Yorkshire Gin – I love the story behind Masons, which started life out as a pair of gin lovers who started a group of Facebook which grew and grew, which along the way saw them turning into spokemean and conniossuers of gin and ultimately making the decision to craft their own gin! Fabulous! I went with my favourite tonic over a lot of ice. There’s apparently a tea edition along with a lavender one, both sound fabulous, will have to hunt them down.
The Lakes Explorer – This is a floral gin from Cumbria and while it can be easily drunk neat over ice, it was absolutely delicious with Fever-Tree Elderflower tonic, which is by far the best tonic in the world. Fact. The Lakes Distillery is just North of Keswick and you can go for a tour, which I think one day I might well do!
Anno Kent Gin – Founded in 2011, Anno is Kent’s first micro-distillery and the first people to distill gin in Kent for over 200 years! With a blend of fresh citrus, bold herbs and some subtle spiced notes, this is another gin which can be enjoyed neat, however, neat is still a bit too hardcore for me so I garnished with some lime and tonic.
Following on from several good experiences and discoveries, I normally drink my gin following the recommendations of my gin gurus at Gin Festival – they’ve never served me a gin I didn’t like! I already mentioned above that I became a gin snob after attending Gin Festival, well let me tell you, I also became a tonic snob. Premium tonic, especially Fever-Tree, all the way please!
You also find a few other little treats in your Gin Explorer Box and in the June box was some Joe & Seph’s Gin and Tonic popcorn and some premium tonic that I had never tried before – Peter Spanton Drinks No 9 Cardamom. I was a little worried I wouldn’t like this as I’m not overly keen on cardamom but I have to say it was really lovely when I had it with the Masons gin. I’ve discovered that with higher-quality tonic, the gin-drinking experience is even better.
Gin Explorer boxes are available through three price plans – on a month to month basis at £24.99, three months prepay at £69.99 and a twelve month prepay at £279.99. Find out more information and how to subscribe by visiting the Gin Explorer website here.
Of course all the gins I have mentioned above are also available to buy via the Gin Festival shop and each box comes with a 10% voucher to use of that months selected gins.