Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
Spice Kitchen are a small company based in Liverpool, run by mother and son Sanjay and Shashi Aggarwal (affectionately known as Mamma Spice & Baby Spice). It started out as an idea in 2012 when Shashi was facing retirement. Her and her son developed her hobby of gifting spice mixes to family and friends, and the rest is history. They now offer a huge range of spices, spice mixes, gifts, drinks and even wedding favours.
I was kindly gifted the Gin Botanicals Collection for the purpose of this review. It’s a lovely gift box filled with three full-sized tins of different gin botanicals – Mexican, Indian and Moroccan. The idea with them is that you can use the spice mix in the tins to add a little something extra to spice up your usual gin, or gin-based cocktails.
Each tin contains a little bag filled with the 60g of the chosen spice mix. The bag inside tells its own little story – it lists the ingredients, a best before date, batch number and who packed it, and where, which really rings home the fact that this is a small company who truly love and believe their products.
In terms of spice mixes, the Indian tin contains classic cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and juniper berries. The Moroccan tin is a balance of rose petals, pomegranate seeds, pink peppercorns, citrus peel, coriander seeds, juniper berries and beetroot powder. Finally, the Mexican mix includes pink peppercorns, citrus peel, coriander seeds, chilli, juniper, basil and bay leaves.
One first thing to say when you open each tin is WOW. You are immediately hit with the perfume of the botanicals. Whether it’s the rose perfume of the Moroccan mix, the warm Chai-style Indian box, or the spicy tang of the Mexican botanicals, straight away, you know exactly what part of the world these spice mixes are representing. It’s gorgeous!
Regarding the instructions, as I wasn’t 100% sure, so I just went with my gut and sprinkled a selection of the Indian spices over the top of my Saturday night gin and tonic. Boom! It really packed a punch. My nostrils were immediately filled with a warm, heady clove and cinnamon mix. The gin and tonic itself was slightly spicy and savoury in flavour. Delicious! I’d potentially consider infusing a bottle of gin with the next batch to see how that would go down… I can’t wait to try the other two either!
What I loved was that although the packaging lacked a little in instructions, it directed me to the website, which was super informative about the company. From reading through the site you get a solid understanding of how the company was formed, and their values, including how they ethically source their ingredients, ensure their products are as fresh as possible and package each product lovingly. A really nice touch!
With more people wanting to know exactly how their product was made and where it comes from, the Spice Kitchen do a great job of ensuring accountability, without compromising on quality.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
For £18 RRP (from www.spicekitchenuk.com), the spice mixes and the packaging (both the tins and the cardboard carry case) felt really high quality, and would make a fabulous gift for the gin lover in your life this Christmas.
This product can be purchased from Spice Kitchen here.