Review of "Gordon's Edge"
What goes into an alcopop? Manufacturers rarely disclose their ingredients on the label, so how do you know you're not drinking moonshine brewed by hillbillies in a rusty tin bath that will make you go blind after a couple of chugs?I exaggerate, of course, but it is reassuring to see the Gordon's logo on a bottle of Edge and know that whatever else may be lurking in the bottle, the gin is top quality.
And what a fine bottle. Slightly squat with a wide body, angular shoulders and a hint of green in the glass, this is a bottle that says 'Hi there, I'm going to refresh you while simultaneously making you look cool'.The label is a plain non-gimmicky black and white job, with a yellow flash at the neck and base denoting lemon flavour and a green for lime. Sorry, that's 'crisp' lemon and 'sharp' lime. The most prominent feature is that sweeping Gordon's signature.
There's a growing desire among manufacturers to move alcopops away from the teenage market and towards a demographic that's older, wiser, more sophisticated...read 'richer'. They're targeting the twenty- and thirty-somethings and in particular they want to get more males in on the alcopop scene. Hence brightly-coloured labels and contents are out and we get products like Gordon's Edge.You know, I hope, what a good gin and tonic smells like. The bitter aroma of tonic, the sweet scent of juniper from the gin, the sour smell of freshly-cut lemon. This sensory extravaganza is reproduced exactly by Gordon's Edge, so take a moment to savour the bouquet before you pour. Or before you slug it straight from the bottle, depending on personal preference.
One of the chief complaints about alcopops is that you can't taste the alcohol, leading the drinker to a false sense of security and eventually to falling over. None of that here - you can taste the gin, and by heck it tastes good. The rest of the drink doesn't have too powerful a flavour but sets the gin off nicely.This one is definitely in the 'sparkling' rather than 'fizzy' category, bubbling just enough to be pleasantly tingly in the mouth. Surprisingly there is a noticeable sweet aftertaste, almost of icing-sugar, which spoils the sharp, refreshing aspect somewhat.
Due to the lack of ingredient information I can't tell you whether Edge actually contains fruit juice or some clever laboratory-created approximation, but it really does taste as if the obligatory slice of lemon or lime has been marinaded in the drink for some time - only without the annoyance of floating pips and bits of skin. The lime version is one of the sourest alcopops around, a refreshing chance from the sugary crowd, and the lemon adds a perfect sharpness to the drink.This is really what we experts in the field (and a dedicated bunch we are) would call a 'premix' - a tried and tested combination of spirit and mixer ready-made in a bottle, like Bacardi & Coke or Smirnoff Mule. The advantage of this kind of drink is the convenience; the barman simply hands over a nicely-chilled bottle from the fridge rather than messing about with measure of spirits, mixer, ice and a slice then charging you four quid for the result. The disadvantage is that you can't customise your beverage by asking for it stronger or weaker. Gordon's Edge comes in a 275ml bottle which contains a measure and a half of gin, making it 5.5% (it's on the label, I'm no mathematician). To me this seems about right - strong enough to taste the alcohol, not so strong that the gin overwhelms the rest.
At about £1.50 in the supermarket, £2 and up at the pub, this is cheaper than a G&T if you're having a night out, but if you're at home I'd advise buying a lemon and constructing your own.
Product Information : Gordon's Edge
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 28/10/2002