Some like it hot.
For the folks out there left feeling blue about the rosé craze, or maybe had one too many dollaritas, the fine folks at FIREBOX might have just released your new bar cart standard. Introducing: Hot Sauce Gin.
Shying away from the saccharine embraced by so many specialty cocktails, this liquor is sure to make your mouth feel some type of (different) way with the peppery punch it packs. But don't be fooled into thinking this is some college-esque mix of Tabasco and the gin you received as a gift awhile ago. The Hot Sauce Gin made by the British That Boutique-y Gin Company is, per its description on the FIREBOX website, double-distilled after being aged for a year in authentic hardwood barrels. Its rich flavor comes from juicy juniper berries, Guajillo peppers and Ancho chillies — a combination "hot enough to pack a punch," yet "mild enough to not to singe your sphincter."
Even the label of the Hot Sauce Gin is a work of art, depicting "FEW [Spirits'] Paul Hletko and Maverick Drinks' Michael Vachon kicking barrels off of a roof and pelting Atom Brands' Ben Ellefsen and Nick Ravelhall with peppers as they're chased by a wave of bourbon." Talk about intense.
The spirit's producers actually have a pretty impressive lineup of inventive gin flavors (more than 30, if you're counting). Some of the more noteworthy flavors include Strawberry & Balsamic Vinegar, Yuzu (a citrus fruit popular in Japan), and something they call D.C. Gin (which combines gins created by five separated distillers in the District of Columbia).
And if you have a taste for gin, but have not yet warmed up to the idea of a Hot Sauce cocktail, FIREBOX has got you covered. In addition to the other products it carries by That Boutique Gin Company, the London-based online retailer sells clear, pink, and black luminescent Unicorn Tears Gin —the pink is berry-flavored and the black tastes of citrus. There are also miniature-sized bottles of all three varieties of Unicorn Tears Gin for sale. Looking to eat your favorite European spirit instead? Snag some Spreadable Gin! (It's actually a jar of Gin-infused preserves, if you want to get technical, but we may be too far deep into gin combos for that.)
FIREBOX also offers two kits that allow you to maximize your gin's potential. The first is packed with a pair of Gin & Tonic glasses, cute stirrers, coasters, a notebook, a pencil and a selection of additions to bring out the flavors of your gin-of-choice. It should be noted the aforementioned kit is also available for Prosecco lovers. The second kit lets you transform a bottle of vodka into gin (like magic!). It includes botanicals, juniper berries, a funnel, a sieve and 500ml bottle for housing your new creation.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous, maybe try remixing the quintessential spicy cocktail — the Bloody Mary — by swapping out the traditional vodka for the Hot Sauce Gin. Add more flavor with cocktail pickle brine. Grind up some Hot Cheetos and coat the rim of a glass with them then throw some on top for aesthetic purposes. Freeze the drink in popsicle molds and enjoy them by the pool. It's almost summer; live your best and spiciest life.
For now though, the Hot Sauce Gin is only available to those of you reading from the United Kingdom, as it is not yet available to shop to the U.S. According to the website, this is because of shipping restrictions placed on alcohol; similar restrictions are placed on electronics and food. But fingers crossed one day people will be able to get their spicy spirit fix regardless of country of origin — and in the meantime, maybe look into some cheap flights? (DO IT FOR THE GIN!)