You'll notice I titled this post 'Gin Festival 2016', because I intend to go back to this event every single year. Yes it was that good. The majority of you will have probably cottoned on to the fact that I like gin. Love it. Dreeeeam about it. So when I got asked to attend and cover this event, you bet your bottom dollar I said yes! And of course I took along the beautiful Tiffany, (Frost In Space) AKA my number one gin-loving gal pal.
EDIT: On a final read through of this post, there's a certain word I've used rather a lot. So I challenge you to take a sip of an alcoholic beverage of your choice every time you see the word "Gin". Obviously I don't recommend this if you're reading this on the morning commute, I'm not that irresponsible.. See ya in the comments!
I have to start off by saying how fab the event was. Everything was so well organised down to the finest details; it was set at the Athena which fitted perfectly with the vibe of the night, there was great music, gin-themed merchandise, a tuck shop (a hit with the more gintoxicated guests), oh and not to mention the selection of gins was INSANE.
|Fun Fact: Every bartender/connoisseur had a beard. Coincidence or cult?|
Gin Festival was set up by the wonderfully-gin obsessed husband and wife duo Jym and Marie back in 2012 and it has expanded every year since. New cities are constantly being added to the event list with each rave review; I'm already looking at which city to visit so I can go again! If you like gin even a little bit, I strongly suggest you buy tickets for yourself and some friends, and I guarantee you'll be a fanatic in no time.
|Mum, if you're reading this, its £25 K thanks bye|
And if you can't get to an event, you can become a Gin Explorer. It's a cool subscription box filled with four mini gins, mixers and a couple of (you guessed it) gin-themed gifts. It's £25 a box so makes a great Christmas prezzie, or perhaps just a gift from you to you. I won't judge. Keep an eye out for a review of this soon!
The vast array of gins were split over three bars; Bar A housed the English Gins, B for the International Gins and upstairs was the Favourites bar. Drinks tokens were £5 each which amassed to a single measure of gin and a Fevertree tonic or mixer of choice. Each brand of gin came with its own specific garnish, which ranged from grapefruit, to black pepper, to cucumber etc. Oh and if that wasn't enough, some of the distilleries had stands set up, where you could try samples and learn a little about the ginredients...
|Pink gin? Yes I'm serious. Cute and Yummy!|
|BROCKMANS! - Say it in Cartman's voice I beg of you|
The Brockmans stand was packed all night, and for good reason. The brand's theming screams sensuality, from the ribbed bottles to the leather overalls the "Brockmen" had on. It's infused with eight botanicals, the more prominent flavours being the sweet blackberries and the slightly spicy, earthy kick from the Coriander and Angelica. The addition of Almonds makes this without a doubt, the smoothest gin I've ever tasted, perfect alone over ice, or served long with ginger beer. (Fevertree Ginger Beer of course.) I have to give a shout-out to our hilarious Brockmen, Josh and Sam for keeping us entertained and providing us with countless shots of their wonderful gin. See you next year boys!
Fevertree was the perfect partner for the Gin Festival due to their fab range of tonic waters, there was one to compliment every gin we tried! Tiff and I wandered upstairs, intending to watch the Poetic License masterclass, but it was so full we couldn't even find a gap to peek our heads through. We went to speak to the host after the class had finished and she proceeded to hand us some premixed samples of their London Dry and Old Tom gins.
We then nipped over to the favourites bar to cash in another of our drinks tokens, where we struck gold and found the two most delicious elderflower gins on the planet. Our bearded bartender suggested Tiff tried the JJ Whitley Elderflower, which had a slightly grassy, herby taste to it; and I was given the Sir Robin of Locksley which slightly sweeter and more citrus-tinged. Both were utterly and equally delicious.
|Here's a pic of mildy gintoxicated but very happy Izzy|
So all that's left to say is, get yourself to #GinFestival2016! Whether you prefer to mingle in the main hall, or sit and listen in to a masterclass (or four), there's something for everyone. Plus with over 100 gins on offer, you're guaranteed to find a new gin to obsess over, I have about 5 on my list!
Tickets are around £8-10 depending on the venue and come with a beautiful goblet glass that's yours to keep, a badge (so you can get in and out of the venue) and a Gin Book and pen, so you can find the location of your faves, and tick them off as you go! If you've been or are planning to make a trip, let me know what your favourite gins are, I've still got some space in my drinks cabinet!
Thanks for reading your Dose of GinFest
Disclaimer: Although I attended Gin Festival Leicester as press, all thoughts and words are completely my own, and I was entirely planning on buying a ticket before being invited! (Because gin is bae). Thank you to the team for the opportunity to review such an amazing event.