As the public’s appetite for gin continues to grow, so do the number of events devoted to the tasting and consumption of the spirit. Junipalooza and Gin Festival (both in their third year) are two such events which are, quite frankly, a gin lover’s paradise. What they are not, however, are events to which to take your friends who do not share your juniper obsession. This is where The Epicurean may step in; an event which takes some of the best elements of both Junipalooza and Gin Festival but which celebrates a wide range of high-quality wine, beer, spirits and food.
The Epicurean promises to showcase fine wine and food, craft beer and spirits. And with 130 exhibitors, and over 1,000 products on offer, there will certainly be plenty to sample. The range of gin is considerably smaller than you’ll find at either Junipalooza or Gin Festival, but with 16 gin distilleries on board there should be enough to keep most ginthusiasts happy. These include: Blackdown Distillery Sussex Dry Gin; Boxer Gin; Curio Rock Samphire Gin; East London Liquor Company; Gin Lane 1751; Hayman’s Gin; Poetic License; Skin Gin; and Zymurgorium Gin.
In addition to this, the official mixer for The Epicurean has been announced as INDI & CO; a range of premium mixers new to the UK this month, and a very welcome shift from the ubiquitous, albeit it highly satisfactory, Fever-Tree. INDI & CO is handcrafted, with each bottle taking eight weeks to produce, and the range includes Lemon Tonic; Strawberry Tonic; Black Cola; and Ginger Beer. I had the pleasure of sampling their Tonic Water at Holborn Dining Room with Colombian Aged Gin Ortodoxy and I must say it was exquisite!
The Epicurean offers unlimited sampling (with the opportunity to purchase longer drinks, bottles and food from the stands) akin to Junipalooza. But also promises live music and a fiesta vibe similar to Gin Festival. Common to both its competitors The Epicurean will also host a range of talks including Vermouth Styles and 6 Sparkling Wines You Need To Know. However, the highlight for me would have to be Alice Lascelles‘ (author of Ten Cocktails: The Art of Convivial Drinking) session The Hottest Category: Gin! which will include an introduction to key styles, top serves and must-visit distilleries in the UK. Poetic License’s talk Smaller is Bigger, about why small batch, pot still production is leading the way in craft gin, also promises great things.
Tickets costs £25 per person and include unlimited free samples, a Riedel Crystal glass (worth £12) and a jute bag to carry home your purchases. There is also a limited offer at the moment to receive one free Brighton Gin G&T on arrival which is certain to sweeten the deal.
The Epicurean takes place on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th October at The Old Truman Brewery, East London.