I heard the words ‘Gin’ and ‘Festival’ and immediately bought my tickets on a bit of a whim without knowing much about it (because, gin) and I’ll be honest, I was worried. I expected two blokes and a bottle of Gordons.
I was so very very wrong.
Started in Leeds by a gin loving husband and wife team, Jym and Marie, the Gin Festival has grown into something pretty spectacular. We arrived at 6.30 p.m. << important, on the Friday to find queues of thirsty people snaking out the door.We were greeted with a Gin Festival balloon glass for keeps, a badge (fist pump emoji), a random little canvas bag that looked good for nothing (wait for it) and a nudge in the direction of the bar
Armed with a catalogue of gins to try and our empty glasses we started our Ginny adventure, like a more wrinkled and world worn Famous Five (with a hanger on). There were over 100 different types of gin available across the four bars, brand reps on hand to talk you through their wares *cough* make you drink gin *cough*, masterclasses run by some very cool distillers including Devon based Salcombe Gin as well as food and music. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was one of the most well organised events I’ve been to in an age which considering how many tiddly people there were in that one place was no mean feat.The whole thing works on a token system with one token getting you a shot of gin and a Fever Tree tonic. Double shots equal double tokens, cocktails also cost two.
There’s not much more to say really is there? There are events all over the country, find your nearest one and get yourselves there. Stat. I do have a couple of top tips though if you’re new to Gin Festivalling, because I’ve been to one single festival and am now a pro ginner:
- Make sure you visit the brand reps. They’re full of interesting gin related info and they really want you to drink their gin.
- Ask the bar staff for recommendations if you’re struggling, they also know their stuff.
- Eat before you go – the food was a bit over priced and could have been better, in my humble opinion.
- The little bag? For your catalogues and bits of paper, keep both hands free for THE GIN. Can confirm that the glass also fits in the bag at a real push.
- Take a friend who recently read 101 Gins to Try Before You Die, it’s a non-stop party.
- Make a note of your favourites, there’s an off license and they deliver free to wherever you are after the festival.
- Try the Tinker. It was a thing of gin beauty.
Whats your gin? It’s 2017, if you don’t have a favourite gin then who even are you?