I don’t like Gin. A strange start to a post, I know. But it’s true. So when I was invited to the Gin Festival 2016, I was major apprehensive about going. I plucked up the courage to accept, and brought Mother Blogger along for the gin-ride.
Finding the Lutyens Crypt, Metropolitan Cathedral was a little adventure of its own for us two. Once we found this archaic beauty, it welcomed us with open alcoholic arms. We were greeted by the lovely Laura who gave us the essentials we needed to know.
- You get your own glass. And a pretty glass too! This is what you drink from throughout the night, and it’s washed each time.
- The Gin Book. The bible basically at this time, that explains all you need to know.
- Badge and Blogger Pass. So that if you needed some fresh air in all this alcohol filled drama, you can get back in to enjoy it even more.
- Tokens. They’re your basics in here, as you buy tokens and use them bad boys to buy your poison.
- Pen and Order Form. If you’re completely smitten, you can order some of these prime gin treats.
Heading into the room, it’s honestly astonishing how well the mix of the modern and the historic compliments each other so well. With bottles and bottle lining the walls, and smiling staff awaiting to inform – it was a surprise to see how well presented this event was. It was beautiful.
Being the complete gin-virgins, we stood eyeballing the bible for a while. It helped us filter the load and head for the bars that served our sweet and fruity style. We scuttled off to our first bar, and met a bearded man who I remember fondly. Dennis, we’re talking about you.
Dennis spoke to us about how he became involved with the Gin Festival, after having been a teacher for 10 years. Completely memorised by the passion, he now works with the travelling group of the Gin Festival, and knows gin all too well. He recommended our drinks throughout the evening, and he took our tastes onboard and delivered to perfection… he converted us to gin lovers. So what did we have?
Eccentric Citrus Overload + Fever Tree Indian Tonic
Bright and bold citrus gun with sherbet undertones and a soft, sweet finish. Batch No.5 exclusively made for the Gin Festival!
Brockmans + Fever Tree Ginger Ale
Seductively smooth and well balanced gin (this was my favourite!). Warming notes from the unusual use of blackberries and blueberries, couple with sharp juniper and fresh citrus. Subtle with jam-like sweetness and a garnish of pink grapefruit and blueberries.
K-25 + Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
Fantastically citrusy gin distilled an incredible 14 times by the oldest distillery in Basque Country – Manuel Acha; K-25 glows with bitter and sweet orange, lemon, mandarin and coriander.
La Vita & Bella + Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic
Citrus focused gin with fresh Zedro lemons and Mandarins from Sicily combined with 20 other botanicals to produce a delicious spirit. Mouthwateringly crisp!
With all of these you are giveny your gin in that personal glass of yours, then you go and top it up with your chosen mixer. There are suggestions though, which really helped me because I was useless!
The festival was something that I was unsure about, but when we left the Crypt, all we could natter about was how much we had enjoyed the evening. The only thing I’m gutted about is that we couldn’t stay longer! There was music later on in the evening, and gin masterclasses. It would have been incredible!
The night opened our eyes – and mouths – to the insane possibilities that come with gin. It’s not just the average bottle behind the bar. It’s a drink that would now be top of my list to order if heading to a nice bar with a little more choice.
I wholeheartedly hope to attend this event next year, and bring a few more people with us to enjoy the gin-phenomenon!