What is a London Spiced Liqueur?

Our story starts with a love of London Dry Gin. Gin is the finest spirit for cocktail use. It goes with nearly everything.

But here is the point. It was never designed to.

All the old school gin brands (Beefeater, Tanqueray, Gordons, Plymouth etc) have recipes that pre-date every cocktail ever invented. They were created to be drunk neat or with water. They were never meant to be drunk with liqueurs, or juices, or vermouths, or sodas. It is blind luck that gin mixes so well.

So what is it about gin that means it is so versatile?

London Dry Gin is made by adding ingredients (botanicals) to pure alcohol, and then re-distilling. This draws out the flavours from the botanicals. The predominant flavour in every gin is juniper, but interestingly, gin’s versatility is nothing to do with juniper at all. It’s all to do with coriander seed, the second most prominent botanical in most gins. Coriander seed is one of the so-called “amalgamating spices”, which help bring flavours together. Not only does it bring together the botanicals in gin, it also helps gin mix well with other drinks.

So we thought, if you are going to create a brand new type of spirit designed for mixing, why not start with coriander seed which is the reason why gin mixes so well, throw the juniper out of the window and start again.

So we began experimenting. Because of some of the botanicals we chose, we felt it worked best as a liqueur, so it couldn’t be called dry. And because most of the botanicals were spices, we thought it should described as spiced. So after four years and several hundred trial batches later Haycock’s No.9, the world’s first London Spiced Liqueur was born.