Last Updated on March 18, 2021
Foxhole spirits sustainably sourced HYKE GIN
In a time when sustainability talks volumes Foxhole spirits have hit the nail on the head with their range of environmentally friendly artisan spirits which are all made with otherwise unused resources.
I recently had the pleasure of trying out their HYKE Gin which won a prestigious IWSC Gold Medal in 2019. It gets its distinctive character from a unique blend of botanicals, including coriander, myrrh and rooibos, and grape spirit, inspired by the grapes’ origins in Africa and South America. What better than an English Martini to bring out the best in the gin.
If you enjoy eating grapes, you have probably bought yourself a punnet from one of Britain’s supermarkets, some of which are imported from as far as afield as Africa and South America. I know they are regularly on my shopping list, but It has never occurred to me that when the grapes are cut and trimmed to fit the punnets, the loose grapes and tiny bunches can’t be sold as fresh and end up as waste. This means that hundreds of tonnes of grapes end their long journey either as compost, animal feed or in an anaerobic digester.
Foxhole Spirits together with importer Richard Hochfeld Ltd had the ingenious idea that eliminated the needless waste of the surplus grapes by turning it into their newest gin – HYKE.
James Oag-Cooper MD and co-founder Foxhole Spirits says:
“We had the idea for our first gin, Foxhole Gin back in 2013. It came from a discussion between myself and Sam Linter, Head Winemaker at one of our partner vineyards during the English wine harvest in 2013. We had both independently been thinking about what could be done with the surplus grape material and realised that we could work on the idea together.
We decided to create a gin mostly due to our love for the category. We realised that nobody else had made a gin from English grapes, wondered whether it could be done, and decided to take on the challenge. So, we collected up a small amount of waste material as a pilot and it’s this base spirit which ended up as Batch 1 of Foxhole Gin which we launched in 2016.”
Going forward from their huge success with Foxhole Gin, they launched HYKE Gin in March 2019. Keen to continue to use sustainably sourced, surplus materials but this time, instead of using English grapes they sourced grapes that were surplus to the requirements of the supply chain internationally. HYKE gin is made using a three-stage production process. First, they make a sustainably sourced grape spirit from fermentation and distillation and then they distil again with botanicals after adding and macerating them.
The result is a delightful, smooth gin with a wonderful zesty nose and warm aromatic spices. It makes the perfect Gin & Tonic which I have been enjoying with a sprig of rosemary. However, it also is ideal for making cocktails, so I decided to make an English Martini in keeping with the botanical theme. The combination of sweet elderflower liqueur and this beautiful botanical gin makes the perfect match for this elegant and approachable martini.
A gin and elderflower liqueur martini
- 60 ml Gin ( I used Hyke Gin)
- 25 ml Elderflower liqueur e.g St Germain
- 2/3 sprigs Rosemary
Using a handful of rosemary sprigs, rip off the leaves and put in a shaker with ice
Add the other ingredients and shake well
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a slice of lime or a sprig of rosemary.
For more gin cocktail ideas, check our roundup of some of our favourite gin cocktails
Foxhole Spirits also produce Mad City Botanical Rum and their original Foxhole Gin.