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Review: Mad City Botanical Rum

Confession time; I’m primarily a gin girl. I know, I know, but I just love it. I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth so my mixed drinks and cocktails of choice tend to the sharp, sour or bitter, perfect for the complexity of a decent botanical dry gin.

Mad City Rum
Credit: Amanda David

I’m also increasingly interested in local sourcing and sustainability, particularly recycling and repurposing items or produce we would normally throw away - which, in a very roundabout way, explains why Foxhole Spirits were already on my radar: partly for their passionate and inventive no-waste ethic and okay, yes, also for their award-winning gin.

What does this have to do with their Mad City white rum I hear you (and probably my editor) ask? Simple; their expertise in gin-making has been transferred to the creation of an exceptional Botanical Rum, with all the depth and complexity needed to tempt a die-hard gin drinker to the white side. Made with sugar-cane molasses (a natural by-product of the sugar industry) with vanilla, nutmeg, cacao nibs, orange, cardamom and cloves among its twenty-five botanicals, this has none of the harshness or single-note flatness of standard white rums.

The website has a couple of helpful cocktail recipe videos; first we tried the Hard Seltzer, this year’s US import of choice for those looking for a lower-carb, more refreshing option than a cold beer. A hard seltzer is basically flavoured sparkling water with a dash of the hard stuff; these were made with coconut water (which divided opinion, but I actually liked), a hefty, zingy twist of orange zest and fresh rosemary.

The verdict? This was clean-tasting and refreshing – although I’m personally still not sold on the general concept of hard seltzers, I can see this would tick every box if you were. (Going off-piste a little, I can wholeheartedly recommend this with more rum and mixed with Fever-Tree Clementine tonic water with orange and rosemary.)

Back to basics, we then made a Mad City Mojito. One of my favourite cocktails of all time, this was fabulously smooth and I felt showcased the complexity of the rum perfectly; citrus yes, but then a very subtle warmth to balance out the herbal notes. I’m now interested to try a cocktail that takes advantage of the spicy, Oriental side of the botanicals in this rum, particularly the cardamom – suggestions on socials @ChattingFood please!

And the bottle? The Mad City label art – vibrant, stylish, modern and energetic – was designed by Bristol-based street artist Sled One, an inspired choice; a range of build-your-own Christmas gift bundles on their website include a bottle of Mad City and a version of the artwork. Ahem, Santa?

Purchase: Master of Malt

Price: £29.95

@foxholespirits #madcityrum


[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]

Chatting Food Contributor: Amanda David

Freelance food writer, copywriter and blogger, Amanda David is dedicated to sharing news about London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and general wonderfulness. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.

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Twitter: @LondonGAT

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