Approximately 713 tonnes (1.4 million punnets) of fresh table grapes per year are not suitable for fresh consumption and are thus surplus to requirements of the supply chain. Aiming to combat food waste, however, Foxhole Spirits – specialising in the production of premium spirits from otherwise unused resources – has collaborated with fruit importers Richard Hochfeld Ltd to produce HYKE, a unique premium gin made using grape spirit produced from surplus fresh table grapes.
On the launch of HYKE gin, James Oag-Cooper, MD and co-founder of Foxhole Spirits said: “We knew that there was something special that could and ‘should’ be done with this quality by-product, so we applied our expertise and craftsmanship to the challenge. The result is a totally unique product which tastes exceptionally delicious, is beautifully presented, sustainably conscious and yet still affordable.”
Karen Cleave, Technical Director at Richard Hochfeld Ltd added: “For packing, the grapes are cut and trimmed to fit the punnets, leaving loose grapes and tiny bunches that can’t be sold as fresh. The size of the trade means that these lovely fresh grapes – equivalent to the weight of about 3.5 blue whales – end up as animal feed or in an anaerobic digester. Now we’re taking them on a delicious journey which respects the provenance of the grapes and supports our commitment, as one of Tesco’s biggest suppliers, to cut waste.”
Exclusive to Tesco stores when launched earlier this year, HYKE contains a unique blend of botanicals, each inspired by the grapes’ African and South American origins. These include the likes of juniper, coriander, angelica, orris root, liquorice, cumin, myrrh and rooibos. Moreover, the bottle’s label design also pays homage to the grapes’ origins, with a sharp, geometric design inspired by traditional African fabrics. In keeping with the general theme, each element of the bottle is made from recyclable material.
A crystal clear gin, HYKE opens with lively aromas of baking spices, brazil nuts and piney juniper alongside some grapefruit and rooibos. Juniper continues on the palate, accompanied by some soft coriander, liquorice and plenty of cardamom while rooibos lends a mellowing quality. Generally herbaceous and juniper-forward, HYKE concludes with a long finish rife with juniper and pepper.
Enjoyable on its own, HYKE is also well-suited to tonic water, garnished with a slice of lemon and sprig of thyme, or as the base of cocktails including a gin martini or ‘HYKE Spritz’ – a signature cocktail also featuring rhubarb and ginger cordial, sparkling rosé and soda water.
Further information on HYKE can be found here.
HYKE Spritz Recipe
35ml HYKE Gin
20ml Rhubarb & ginger cordial
Top with 75ml sparkling rosé wine
Top with 50ml soda water
Fresh thyme sprig
Add all ingredients to a copa glass and stir.