Gin was the first alcoholic drink where I thought I really like this and this is my drink. Remember when you first start drinking and it’s all about cider or vodka and getting smashed? Nearly 10 years since drinking properly, I can’t stomach vodka anymore. Gin was one of the first drinks that I truly enjoyed. So, when I got an invite to the Gin Festival in my inbox, you can imagine my happy little face.
The Gin Festival was founded in 2012 by Marie and Jim, a gin loving couple who noticed that there were no festivals or events celebrating gin. They plotted to create The Gin Festival and the business just keeps growing and growing!
I decided to bring a long my gin loving best pal, Nick, with me. We took the train down to Nottingham and wandered to Nottingham Conference Centre. As we entered through the doors, we were greeted by the Gin Festival staff who told us how the festival works. We were given our glasses, our gin book and a pen and told where to buy drink tokens. The Gin Book listed all the gins at the festival and there was over 100. Each gin had a recommended mixer and garnish. A gin and a Fever Tree mixer cost £5 or a gin cocktail for £10. We decided to sit down and have a look through the guide to decided which gins we were going to try first!
The gin bars were separated into four bars; A and B were UK Brands, C housed the international brands and D were the fruit and sloe gins. At the bar you picked your gin of choice served with ice in your gin glass. The bar staff add the recommended garnish from the booklet and you can either drink it near or add a mixer of your choice. At the end of each bar, there were Fever Tree tonics and on a separate bar, there was lemonade, ginger ale and other flavoured tonics! Nick and I decided we’d try one from every bar through out the day. First off, I tried the Beckett’s Gin with a mint and lime garnish mixed with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic. It was a great drink to start the day; very zesty with a hint of mint and it mixed wonderfully with the elderflower tonic.
My two favourite gins of the afternoon was the Sir Robin of Locksley gin, which I partly tried for being a huge fan of Robin Hood in Once Upon a Time. The bottle of gin was a beautiful bright green which really stood out to me. I sampled the gin straight and with a mixer. I could have drank it straight as it was wonderfully smooth. It also tastes delicious mixed with the pink grapefruit garnish. It’s going to be a bottle added to my gin collection for sure! My other favourite, Zymurgorium Sweet Violet, off Bar D. This was so sweet and tasted exactly like parma violets. It’s a perfect drink for someone who’s never tried gin before and wants to get into it.
As well as sampling wonderful different gins, The Gin Festival holds Gin Masterclasses where brands can showcase their gins and show you whats different about them. We attended the Brockmans gin talk where the company told the audience about the history of the company, the types of different gins they do and what makes them different. They also passed shots of gin through out the audience so we could sample what makes Brockmans gin different.
The Gin Festival truly was a wonderful afternoon out and I’d recommend it to any gin lover. The Conference Centre was the perfect venue; it was light, airy and not crowded at all despite the festival being sold out. The organisation was brilliant; with the token system in place the longest queue we waited in was around a minute, which really stood out to me. Well done Jym and Marie – you’re doing a fantastic job and thank you for inviting me along!
*Gin Festival invited me to the festival in exchange for a review. However, all opinions and gin loving words are all my own.