The trials and tribulations of lockdown
One of the interesting side-effects of lockdown is how local businesses have innovated and adapted, and how the appetite to support local has seen a massive revival. After all, what is there to do, when you can’t go anywhere or do anything other than order online. So, a commitment was made here at Sussex Exclusive, to start trying as much local produce as we could conceivably manage in order to help support local and spread the word. A dirty job we know, but someone had to do it. And what better way to start than by sampling three, very different, locally produced Sussex craft gins.
HYKE Gin (orange)
Produced by Foxhole Spirit in Bolney, West Sussex, the HYKE Orange gin is one of their signature series. Foxhole launched in 2016 and they have already won a number of awards. They produce a variety of other gins as well as rum.
James Oag-Cooper, co-founder and MD of Foxhole Spirits told us more,
“Our mission: Reclaim, repurpose, reimagine. We want to prove that using sustainably sourced, surplus materials can create spirits better than those that use grown for, single purpose materials. For HYKE Signature Series Orange, we source oranges that would otherwise go unused. We add fruit and botanicals to the award-winning HYKE Gin, which is distilled with a sustainably sourced grape spirit and support this with an additional botanical maceration for complexity and balance. It’s zesty, fruity and delicious!
Orange is also a great flavour as it’s so versatile and allowed us to do it in our own distinct way. There are lots of orange gins out there but each one is different due to orange being such a versatile fruit which pairs with lots of other ingredients. For a simple serve we love HYKE Orange with premium tonic and a slice of orange (what else!) looking for something a little more complex then try it in a Negroni or as a swap for HYKE Gin in our HYKE Martini which is a grown-up chocolatey indulgence made with Amontillado Sherry and Crème de Cacao blanc.
The vision for our new Signature Series is to make more use of surplus fruit and to make more flavoured variants with a focus on balance and botanicals. We’ve got some exciting launches coming later this year!”.
Jarrold’s Sloe Gin
David from Cabin Pressure told me more about the brand behind the gin,
“We’re not looking to take over the gin world with Cabin Pressure, merely create a range of interesting products with strong links back to our local community. Collaboration is the key, be it between myself and my wife Emily, who designs all the artwork, or by working with other local businesses such as Leonardslee Gardens, Crates Local Produce, Loxwood Meadow and Horsham Coffee Roaster to develop our range. Going forward, we’re looking forward to kindling more exciting partnerships and spreading “The Horsham Spirit” far and wide.”
Horsham Spirit is beautifully labelled and has a wonderful aroma, and a smooth, elegant and lightly floral flavour. It went superbly well with Fever-Tree in the early spring sunshine and I think this is a gin I’ll come back to again and again.
We know there are many more Sussex gins to try as the craft gin industry continues to go from strength to strength, and we’re committed to sipping our way through as many as we can – all in the name of research, of course!
For more Sussex craft gin try: