Reviewed by Lorna Templeton
CAKE, biscuit or instant classic? This product leaves us duty-bound to add a third option to the age-old debate, and judging by the rate at which our first bottle disappeared, I know which way I’m leaning. I mean it as a compliment when I say that Jaffa cake gin tastes way better than it sounds. Put aside any concerns about soggy biscuits and dive headlong into the flavour: a brilliantly tangy mix of citrus and chocolate that does what it says on the tin and does it in style.
Your taste buds are caught somewhere between a Mediterranean orange grove and your grandparents’ front room, and it’s this combination of the exotic and the nostalgic that gives the gin real versatility. You can easily imagine passing it round at both a Saturday barbecue and after Sunday lunch at the in-laws’. It really hits the mark without being overpowering. No Jaffa cakes were harmed in the making of the product, but the real Jaffa Cakes that are apparently used in the process were certainly put to good use, as were the fresh orange peel and cocoa powder. As well as the chocolatey taste, which has just the right amount of bitterness, you can also detect the presence of vanilla, a hint of almond, and of course the essential orange undertone. Despite being based on a cake (never a biscuit, legally speaking!), this gin isn’t overly sweet or sickly and can be enjoyed equally as a short or long drink.
We enjoyed it on its own, over ice, but it is easy to understand why those behind this product recommend it for use in a negroni. To be precise, they reckon it will produce “the best negroni mankind has ever seen”, but, as ever, much depends on the skills – and generosity – of the person preparing and pouring the drinks. For reference, the recommend Negroni serve is 25ml each of Martini Rosso sweet vermouth, Campari, and Jaffa Cake Gin. The cocoa and orange flavours would be a superb foil to the bitterness of Campari. Another suggested serve is Jaffa Cake Gin with soda. It would be fair to say this household’s gin consumption has seen a marked increase during lockdown, but this is by far the tastiest of the tipples I have tried!
In general, the gin market is becoming increasingly crowded and increasingly noisy, but Jaffa Cake gin deserves some cut-through. Down to the last velvety, chocolatey drop, it knows exactly what it is. The flavoured gin market may suffer from being a tad gimmick-y, but this product clearly has high production values and classy branding, so should find a more natural fit at the more premium end of the market, without ever taking itself too seriously.
Highly recommended, pick up a bottle now and enjoy!
The product can be purchased from the Jaffa Cake Gin website here.
Negroni bundles also available at £45.35 including Campari and Martini. ABV: 42% Volume: 70cl