Gin Explorer February Box

Fellow gin lovers? I'm calling you! I've got something really exciting that you don't want to be missing out on. So if I told you that I had the secret to discovering new, unique gins monthly which are delivered direct to your door, tell me you wouldn't be jumping with excitement just as I was. I give to you, Gin Explorer - the monthly gin subscription box.


Gin is a very trendy, up and coming thing to drink. With new brands, flavours and tonics cropping up left right and center there's a concoction suited to everyone. And with summer fast approaching *crosses fingers and toes* it's my ideal drink for a warm summers evening. Each beautifully wrapped box arrives with four 50ml gin miniatures, two mixers and some monthly exclusive goodies. With this month being Valentines themed, I also received some yummy heart chocolates. Previous goodies have including gin infusion kits, spoons and cocktail ingredients. 

This months gin samples include Mahon Gin Xoriguer which originates from Menorca, Spain. This gin combines local juniper berries with a blend of aromatic herbs with subtle hints of fruit and warm notes. Gin explorer recommend this with Nordic Mist Blue Tonic Water and garnished with a slice of lemon. The peppery scent is paired with a very fruity flavour which would be ideal served strong, over ice whilst soaking up the Spanish sun (if only).

The second of the four gins is Zymurgorium English Hedge Rose. Now I'm a sucker for romance, and as this box launched in time for Valentines day, I'm sure some lucky girls out there got a rose gin accompanying their real roses. This artisan gin is infused with real rose petals and smells incredible. The floral scent in the gin taste as sweet as it smells. The rose infusion is accompanied by over 20 other botanicals which gives this gin the feminine, rich and sweet taste. This is perfect served in a cocktail, find below my recipe for Cardamom Rose Cocktail.

Next up we have Addingham Cranberry and Orange Gin. Having tasted all these gins neat I have to say this is by far my favourite, it's a beautifully fresh gin liqueur. The sweet oranges and sharp cranberries give a delicious fruity flavour mixed with the traditional gin notes it's a perfect refreshing drink. Now I love my gin cold, over ice with garnish, however due to the fruitiness and sweetness from the orange this would be great served hot on a cold winters evening. Forget the mulled wine, it's all about warm gin. 

Lastly, but by no means least we have Bullard Norwich Dry Gin. This being the strongest of all of them at 42.5% has what I believe to be the more traditional gin taste. However this being said, the notes of lavender, vanilla and marzipan make this smooth enough to be drank with no mixer. With the hints of almond this is perfect mixed into food to spice up any recipe. I created a lemon drizzle cake with a twist.. find the recipe for this below.

The mixer Nordic Mist Blue Tonic Water. This is classed as a premium tonic, the blue colour is the first thing that catches my eye. This could dress even a classic gin into looking fancy. It smells very similar to lemonade but upon drinking is greeted by an acidic, dry taste. The notes of peach make this different to any other tonic water which is delicious as a mixer or alone. 

So, my verdict? The idea of subscription boxes are brilliant but daunting and often with beauty subscriptions I'm left feeling underwhelmed by the lack of excitement from some of the products. Gin Explorer on the other hand, leaves me giddy (probably from the alcohol), excited and already anticipating the next box. The idea of it is genius and providing mixers and tips to accompany the gins make the whole experience thrilling allowing each subscriber to adjust the drinks to their personal preference. 

So the question you are all asking and possibly the most important factor, the price? There are 3 subscription options to those in mainland UK (rest of the UK varies). Open ticket, this is a month by month subscription which for those of you new to gin, you may prefer this as you can pick and chose which months you want to partake in. The cost for an open ticket is £24.99 including postage. For you more intense gin lovers you have the option of 3 month prepay for £69.99 or 12 month prepay for £279.99. Now the sound of that is scary, however when you think of what you're getting it works out approx. £23 per box which is £5.80 per gin, which for high class gins is pretty darn good.

So what do you think? Could you see yourself becoming a Gin Explorer? I for one will certainly be enjoying the subscription gins again. Thank you to Gin Festival for allowing me to review and take part in Gin Explorer. And with my post coming to an end, please drink sensibly!

Cardamom Rose Cocktail
Ingredients:
Zymurgorium English Hedge Rose Gin (50ml)
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
Juice from half fresh grapefruit 
1 cardamom pod 
Dash of Indian tonic
Garnish with lemon peel and a rose petal

Method:
Half fill your chosen glass with ice

Add the freshly squeezed lemon and grapefruit juice
Pour in the Hedge Rose Gin
Put in the cardamom pod
Stir well to incorporate the flavours 
Top with Indian Tonic water
Garnish with lemon peel and rose petel
ENJOY


Lemon 'Gin'zzle Cake
Ingredients:
225g softened butter
225g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
Finely grated zest from 2 lemons
4 medium eggs
100ml milk
Juice of 2 lemons
50ml Bullards Norwich Dry Gin
150g granulated sugar

Method:
Grease and line chosen loaf tin 

Beat together butter, caster sugar, flour, lemon zest and eggs
Gradually add the milk until texture can easily drop from a spoon
Pour mix into the loaf tin
Bake in the oven for approx. 1hr 15mins or until golden and firm
Mix the lemon juice, gin and granulated sugar
Poke holes through the cake with a skewer
Pour the ginzzle mix over the cake allowing to soak through
Leave to cool completely and ENJOY

Lots of love as always ♥.. 
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