Discover gin from America, England, Spain and Scotland – Junipalooza in 6 minutes

Watch to discover gins from around the world.

When we’re not creating great drinks events, we’re capturing them. The Drinks Galore team film Gin Foundry’s Junipalooza 2015 – the home of craft gin distilling.

Sample the gins with us as we go see what’s on offer from the likes of New York Distillery Co, Haymans, Santamania and Makar Glasgow Gin

Filmed and Edited by Alex Blogg www.alexblogg.com

Rum Ho went off with a blast

Ahoy mates, last week we presented Rum Ho – another drinks tasting for spirited amateurs. Starting with a classic daiquiri served up by the Hoxton bar crew, and finished with a rum grog made by the guests themselves we fitted a 5 rum tasting in between.

The air was thick with swarthy questions and cask strength badinage, plus the sheer volume of knowledge from ‘Professor Rum’ Roger Barnes  was enough to captivate event the most mutinous crew

The Hoxton summed up the event very well on their blog – check it out.

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Event Summary – #2 GIN BLOSSOMING

Cracking night. Total re-education on #gin #DrinksGalore (@PepePettigrew)

  • When: 6th June 2014
  • Where: The Hoxton Hotel
  • Spirit: Gin
  • Host: Mark Thompson

Our second event and maybe even more fun than the first – great crowd of 42 imbibers matched to a perfect selection of gins, to show the evolution of this fine spirit, topped off by a Gin and Tonic master class – in a very very aromatic with all the Basil and Lemon Thyme on display. Film coming soon. Check the Facebook gallery meantime!

We kicked things off with a classic Gin Punch:  4 parts Plymouth Gin, 2.5 parts Earl Grey tea, 2.5 parts cloudy apple, 2 parts lemon juice,  1 part sugar syrup,  Clove and cardamom to taste finish with a dash of bitters. This got us all in the mood for, well, more gin …

On to the tasting:

Fiona

  • #1 Zuidam Rogge Genever – a rye genever, a little like a whisky which nicely connected us back to the first Drinks Galore event
  • #2 Hayman’s Old Tom – wonderful flavour from this classic Victorian Gin. Mark T suggested this would make the perfect Martini
  • #3 Langley’s No8 London Dry – Their botanicals are secret, but we had fun guessing what they might be
  • #4 Dodd’s Gin London Dry – A great gin to compare to Langley’s to show how London Drys can be quite different. You really need to own both!

Katie then brought out ice, limes, lemons and grapefruit peel and of course a glass full of ice and more Dodd’s Gin, and Mark T showed us how to choose fruits and herbs to make the perfect G and T – it was a lot of fun sharing the herbs around the room and sampling each other’s serve. Mark T explained that since tonic makes up most of the liquid in a G and T it’s important to choose the very best, so of course we served up Fever-Tree, being naturally carbonated it tasted very different to other tonic water, more subtle and it let the flavours of the gin come through.

I went around the room after to see which gins people liked the most  and it was a real mixed bag, everyone had their own favourite from the genever onwards and I know quite a few people will have been showing off their G and T skills with a new found respect gin.

With 100% of the attendees rating it Excellent or Very Good and 100% “extremely likely” to recommend it to others, I am very proud indeed.

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Awesome night @markofrespect well done. Fantastically presented in great surroundings with great people. We’re both coming to next one  (@Whiskywingsuit)

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Hats off to @markofrespect for #drinksgalore. Great night of gin gin and gin. (@DFergPR)

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Thanks to Mark T for another great night and Katie for ginning us up. Special thanks to Hannah from The Hoxton Hotel for providing us with the space, promotion and food on the night, and for believing in the concept from the early days.

Guest Event Summary – Gin Blossoming

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.

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Guest Event Summary – Whisky I love you

Drinks Galore was worth every penny and I greatly look forward to attending the next event they put on.

Thanks to Jim Birkett, guest at Whisky I Love You for this Guest Event Summary:

Drinks Galore at the Hoxton Hotel was a great introduction into the wonderful world of whisky featuring 5 drams of very different and distinctive flavours in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

The initial fear I had of attending such an event was always my perception of those high-brow whisky tasting clubs that are only reserved for people who can tell the difference between a micro-percent of grain and use complex descriptions of flavours. Drinks Galore couldn’t have been more the opposite and by the end I actually felt I could tackle those highbrow types with the knowledge I had acquired throughout the evening.

It started where I was warmly welcomed by the concierge at the Hoxton Hotel and being ushered into a private room which looked like a arty Berlin kitchen. I noticed a whole range of well prepared small food snacks, that were way more than just a pack of crisps. Warm pig in blankets, Burger Sliders and Salads, all were delicious. A gentlemen behind the bar was preparing an elegant cocktail ‘Old Fashioned’ (I believe) and explained to me how we was composing this fine drink. Offering a small selection of miniature flavourings as to how I would like the cocktail to taste. I had never seen this before but already was quite impressed and it tasted excellent too.

After a few minutes Mark Jennings presented the evening speaker who was like the Oracle of Whisky

After enjoying the cocktail, food, and chatting with some very interesting people from all walks of life, Mark Jennings (the founder) announced that we all make our way to the next room where the tasting shall begin. There were large tables set out in a row and each seat had a beautifully presented custom place mat featuring the 5 drams and a small sheet explaining what we would expect to taste. After a few minutes Mark Jennings presented the evening speaker who was like the Oracle of Whisky, this chap seemed very down to earth and knew so much about whisky which he conveyed in such an understandable way. Especially to the punter like me.

Each dram we went through over the course of nearly 2 hours had such a broad contrast between them, some people who were seated near me had never really tasted whisky properly apart from the odd JD and coke at parties. They were just as stunned as I was realising that not only the taste of each dram can be so different in personality but the fact each flavour can compliment times of the day, food and what we would want to look for when choosing a whisky the next time we are at a bar or shop.

By the end of the tasting the room had such a great atmosphere, any reservedness people had was removed

During the tasting the speaker had explained a brief history, how it was made, and how to identify and name flavours and so much more. By the end of the tasting the room had such a great atmosphere, any reservedness people had was removed and some great conversations between strangers were taking place on each table. Drinks Galore was worth every penny and I greatly look forward to attending the next event they put on.

Event Summary – #1 WHISKY I LOVE YOU

“Whisky. I might actually have learnt to love you” Tweet by @felion84

  • When: 25th March 2014
  • Where: The Hoxton Hotel
  • Spirit: Scotch whisky (Cask strength from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society)
  • Host: Mark Thompson

Our first ever event, and what a night it was! See the film here.

We kicked things off with an Old Fashioned made with grain whisky (Cask G4.6 Ray Mears’ Digestif) in The Hoxton Hotel’s private Apartment rooms – we’re not at all snobby about whisky in cocktails.

43 people then neatly slotted themselves into the Library where the charismatic Mark Thompson led us through the evening’s whiskies with wit and wonder.

“About to break the rules of whisky tasting and then remake them with @markofrespect at WHISKY I LOVE YOU a #drinksgalore event for everyone” Tweet by @alexblogg

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I carefully chose the each dram to tell a story:

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  1. 9.76 – Out of Africa (25 year old) – A great example of what a whisky can be
  2. 96.7 – For a Sweet Tooth (7 year old) – A wonderful young whisky
  3. 21.28 – Relaxing in a Tropical Garden (37 year old) – An absolute cracker – exactly what an older whisky should be
  4. 4.186 – Aromatic Spices and Exotic Fruits (22 year old) – Spicy rather than peaty, a good intro to the peated style
  5. 3.217 – A Delicatessen Shopping Basket (16 year old) – Much more peaty, but not eye popping. A challenge to those who say they don’t like Islay

There was no doubting which we all loved the most – the 37 year old silenced even the rowdiest of the group with awe and appreciation and any spare drams were quickly hoovered up.

By the end of the night we were all better educated and not a little misty eyed, we’d drunk, we’d laughed, we’d made new friends. Onwards to the next one.

With 100% of the attendees rating it Excellent or Very Good and 100% “extremely likely” to recommend it to others, I am very proud indeed. The bar is set high for future events.

“Whisky, I have loved you, but it is time to say goodbye. For now… ” Tweet by @Philternz

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“… just wanted to say thanks again for a great night, I am staying firmly in my seat on this drinks galore bus, ding ding next stop…” Rob Atkin

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Thanks to Joe and Katie from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society for helping to make this happen, and Mark for hosting us. Special thanks to Hannah from The Hoxton Hotel for providing us with the space, promotion and food on the night, and for believing in the concept from the early days.