Note: I was sent this gin free of charge to review here, but as always my thoughts remain impartial. There is also an affiliate link at the end which means I get a miniscule payment if you order gin via that link.
I’ve seen The King of Soho gin around before – the blue bottle with gold lettering stands out on a back bar. I also have a feeling I might have tried it before in a pub, but this is the first time I’ve taken a proper look at it. Back in 2013, Alex Robson and Howard Raymond decided they wanted to make a gin to celebrate Howard’s father. Paul Raymond was known for his risqué shows in the heart of Soho, and they designed this spirit to be as vibrant as he was.
This vibrancy is reflected in the bottle design. From the velvet tailoring to the trumpet, every aspect highlights a part of Soho’s history. But they don’t just look back. Their bottles and packaging are fully sustainable and recyclable (more about this coming soon).
They decided to make a classic London Dry gin, but with a contemporary twist. Starting with key botanicals juniper, coriander seed, liquorice, and cassia they added sweet orange peel and grapefruit. To jazz this up a bit more, they added chamomile which, interestingly, adds hints of apple and fresh hay. This is then distilled five times and ends up at 42% ABV, I’m hoping for a good hit of juniper – so let’s see how it tastes!
Opening the bottle and you get a whiff of fresh citrus and some sweet vanilla. In the glass it really opens up and has pronounced aromas. A splash of water tones down the citrus but emphasises the calming chamomile.
To sip it’s surprisingly smooth – no shade to King of Soho, but a lot of gins are a bit rough around the edges whereas this goes down very well. It has a good texture to it – not cloying but substantial and coats your mouth. I wouldn’t say I’m picking up much of the citrus, but there is a hint of spice that gently warms up and you get that nice peppery tingle on your tongue.
Mixed 50/50 with some Fever Tree light tonic you suddenly get the grapefruit and orange coming through. It’s bright and vibrant, whilst maintaining that peppery zing. I wasn’t expecting that – tonic changes the character entirely. It’s a very nice gin and tonic in a different way to when it is neat.
You can get yourself a bottle of The King of Soho gin via Spirits Kiosk for £34.45 (at time of writing). You can find The King of Soho on Facebook, Twitter (sorry but I refuse to call it X), and Instagram.