I'm sighing with relief that we're getting into Spring so I can start posting about booze again, as I'm assuming any of you that did 'Dry January' have been binge-drinking over the last few weekends to make up for it. Budget supermarket chain Lidl often comes up with some interesting own-brand spirits, so I was curious about their Hortus Artisan London dry gin. As luck would have it, my husband bought me a bottle for Christmas. Read on for my gin-uine opinion! (sorry)
The packaging is rather nice, and hints at the gin being more botanical, which is perhaps a bit of an odd concept bearing in mind that all gins are botanical. That's what makes them gin. At first sniff, it smells pretty unremarkable, but not off-putting. No unusual notes, it's rather at odds with the packaging.
I always like to taste a new gin neat, just to get an idea of its full flavours without distraction. I have to say that this wasn't that pleasant on its own, it just tastes like any other dry gin. I was feeling a bit disappointed, but then made a gin and tonic. It's perfectly drinkable with tonic, it's a good, standard, G&T. It's not an exciting drink, but it's a safe, familiar one.
The next step in my testing is always a martini. I dressed for the occasion, emulating the wonderful Miss Fisher in this '20s inspired look. She likes a martini. Hortus makes a good, dependable martini. It's actually a very good choice for cocktails, because it's inexpensive, and there's nothing too fancy going on with the flavours to confuse your tastebuds,
Being Lidl, the price is extremely reasonable - just £15.99 for a 70cl bottle. I think the packaging is misleading, but if you try and ignore that and imagine standard dry gin packaging, you won't be disappointed. A great budget gin to have in your cocktail cabinet.
Have you tried Hortus? What did you think?