I thought a G&T was two liquids binding in a glass with ice and optional garnish. Oh how I was wrong…
Thanks to Katie McCullough, guest at GIN BLOSSOMING for this Guest Event Summary:
It’s safe to say, I’m a gin drinker. By that I mean a gin & tonic is my go-to drink when ever anyone asks, preferably with lime. I thought a G&T was two liquids binding in a glass with ice and optional garnish. Oh how I was wrong…
This was the second Drinks Galore event I’d been to. The first one, Whisky I Love You, left me with nuggets of information and a slither of knowledge were I to order a whisky. When the announcement came that the second spirit was to be gin, well I booked straight away and gathered some friends to come with.
What I love about the Drinks Galore events are that they’re casual and relaxed.
I don’t profess to know a lot about alcohol except how to put it in my mouth and swallow, but I’ve also never been that enamoured by the idea of a wine-tasting. So to have an event like this exist where it’s more about the atmosphere and the time spent getting to know the spirits, means you’re instantly put at ease. To be honest that’s definitely helped by the fact you start the night in what feels like someone’s kitchen, a complimentary gin cocktail made before you fresh, with pockets of people chatting. The Hoxton Hotel may be busy in the foyer, but where we are feels like a few drinks away from the hustle and bustle. A civilised affair where it’s not about who you’re wearing and where you work, but what you’re drinking.
Then you’re led into what feels like someone’s living room where snifters of gin are laid out for each and everyone of us, and it would be rude not to partake…
Mark Thomson, the spirit expert, leads us through the tumbling troubled history of gin with his tales of Fleming, tonic, botanicals, and the origins of the moniker ‘Mother’s Ruin’. With a constant stream of knowledge delivered in a friendly funny way, you never feel like you’re being bombarded. Just like the gin in hand, you imbibe the wisdom like it’s the best history and science lesson you’ve ever had/drunk. Drinking gin neat was admittedly a little frightening. But once you smell, sip, appreciate the spirit neat, only then can you marvel at the differences. My own favourite was Hayman’s Old Tom, a gin that captures the essence of gin distillery from the 1800s, but without the badness that we’ve all heard about. Fresh, soft, citrus… This is a gin I would happily drink neat in a glass toppled with ice.
Our last drink of the night was served to us somewhat dissected. Presented with the ingredients of gin supplied by Dodds, and tonic by Fever-Tree, we were invited to create our own G&T. With spruces of lemon thyme, rinds of citrus, and bay leaves dotted around, we all got to creating. My personal and extremely beautiful tasting creation was lemon thyme, bay leaf and grapefruit rind.
I entered the room knowing how to ask for a G&T, I left the room knowing that’s never going to be as simple or good enough anymore. But I’ve got the knowledge to change that. There’s gin, and then there’s a world of gin you’ve not yet tried. I cannot wait for the next spirit of choice, next time I’m bringing more friends.