I have talked before about subscription boxes and how deprived we are compared to the vast selection they have in America. Since my whinge I have discovered some new ones and it just so happens that two complimented each other perfectly this month so I thought I would tell you about them.
The Gin Explorer Club was designed by the geniuses behind the Gin Festival which I have frequented on more than one occasion. They quickly recognised how much the people of the UK like gin and designed a way to bring you samples of gins you may not have tried before, including the perfect mixer. Anyone who is a fan of gin will know that the choice of mixer is a very important one and not every gin will ‘go’ with every mixer. It can be difficult to know which one will ‘go’ so the guys at Gin Explorer have done that for you. In your monthly box you will get four double measures of gin, all different brands, gourmet mixers, surprise gifts and a full rundown of the gins included and their history. At £24.99 per month it isn’t the cheapest subscription box out there but the quality is evident and, if you like a good G&T, it is the perfect way to enjoy one at home without having to commit to a full bottle of spirit that you may not enjoy.
The Gin Explorer box is beautifully presented with a travel theme and your tasting notes, leaflets and discounts are all wrapped like travel documents. The box is also compact enough to fit through most letterboxes meaning no annoying trips to the post office.
August’s Gin Explorer box contained three gins I haven’t tried and one gin that I have, this is pretty good going considering the amount of alcohol trade shows I have been to!
The gins –
– X Gin
– Tiger Gin
– Bimber London Dry Gin
– Isle of Wight HMS Victory Navy Strength Gin
The mixers –
– Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
– Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic
I regularly drink Fever Tree’s tonics so I was a little disappointed that these were well known to me but I know there has been some special and very new ones in previous boxes so this certainly wouldn’t put me off.
Also in the box is some biltong from the Chichester Biltong Company to add a bar snack style addition to your drink, a badge and some cacao nibs which are the perfect accompaniment to your X Gin as it brings out the nutty flavours really well. To really highlight these cocoa notes I was asked to make a chocolate recipe to go with the X Gin and then my If I Knew You Were Coming brownie kit dropped through my letterbox, what perfect timing!
Another box that will slide straight through your letterbox you will need to add a maximum of four ingredients to create cakes like a pro. I chose the classic brownie kit that needed just eggs and butter adding to make up a batch of fresh warm brownies.
The packets are all measured out for you, just rip open the top of the packets and follow the instructions, it really is simple and fuss free baking.
There is also a handy greaseproof sheet that they recommend you fold up to make a baking tray but it isn’t really foolproof as mine kind of flattened, as did my brownies! I was also a bit disappointed that this is called artisan baking yet the chocolate supplied is Cadburys, I expected something a little more upmarket but it did the job and my brownies were a brilliant accompaniment to my X Gin bringing out the vanilla and the nutty tones perfectly. A three month baking kit costs £20 and are good to keep in the cupboard for those days when only a freshly baked cake or brownie will do.
I wouldn’t recommend drinking the gin prior to making the brownies mind, I can imagine they wouldn’t quite go to plan.
Contains PR samples.