Review – The King of Soho Gin
Everyone’s getting in on the gin act these days, even heirs to the empire once owned by a King, sort of. The late Paul Raymond was often dubbed the King of Soho on account of his predisposition to own property in Soho. No coincidence likely then that he also opened the UK’s first strip club and a variety of soft-porn magazines. The gin is distilled using 12 botanicals including juniper, grapefruit peel, coriander, angelica, and cassia.
Neat: Largely traditional London Dry in style, with a prominent juniper contribution that is matched by plenty of warming (rather than peppery) spice. A relatively sweet onset dries towards the finish, leaving a feeling of powdered cinnamon. Lacking in citrus which might offer some balancing high notes to an otherwise respectable and but unexciting flavour profile.
Mixing: The acceptable, if underwhelming neat tasting performance continues when this gin is mixed. In many drinks it blends into the background, content with offering a middle of the road drinking experience. A G+T for example is hard to criticise, as long as a decently sized citrus twist is on hand for the garnish to loosen things up a little. Elsewhere, from sours such as the absinthe and sage flavoured Lord Chamberlain, to aromatic cocktails such as the Evening Thyme, King of Soho Gin delivers a solidly tasty but unremarkable experience. Unsurprisingly the Martini highlights some of the deficiencies in complexity and is best avoided. Ultimately, this is a gin to mix in cocktails where the precise nature of the base spirit is unimportant, highballs such as the signature Soho Sling (recipe below) being just right. Here the juniper and spicing combines neatly with the heat of the ginger beer, as well as making for a tasty contrast to the fruity apple juice.
Signature Cocktail – Soho Sling
50ml King of Soho Gin, 15ml Lime Juice, 35ml Pressed Apple Juice, 50ml Ginger Beer
Build ingredients over ice in a highball glass. Stir briefly and garnish with an apple slice.
King of Soho Gin is far less exciting than it’s namesake. By no means a terrible gin, but with an unbalanced flavour profile, it fails to stand out in a market crowded with excellent products.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.