I thought maybe I’d have a rest after #GinADayMay but I forgot about Virtua-Palooza. And World Gin Day. And National Martini Day. And one or four virtual tours… suffice to say June has been another busy boozy month!
Well the big news that everyone in the UK has been waiting for is the reopening of bars, pubs and restaurants from 4 July. However, The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has been quick to warn that this won’t provide a quick fix for the industry:
“This welcome news does not mean that the hospitality sector and their suppliers are no longer in need of Government support. Recovery from the loss of trade over the last few months will mean that some businesses will not be able to open immediately or fully and others will take years to get themselves back on an even keel.”WSTA CEO Miles Beale
Meanwhile The Food Safety Authority of Ireland have released new guidance on marketing terms used to advertise or promote gin and gin products in Ireland. Though developed to provide greater, and arguably much needed, clarity for the industry – ensuring products are not mislabelled or marketed in such a way as to mislead consumers – the guidelines have been criticised by some who pushed for tighter legislation.
New Gin Alerts
Some of the newest gins that have caught my eye this month include Tarquin’s The Cornish Sunshine Blood Orange Gin, Gower’s GWYR: Rhosili ‘Dragon Strength’ Gin – which comes in at a stonking 60% ABV and features grains of paradise, cubeb and a hint of smoke from lapsang souchong tea – and Puddingstone Distillery’s relaunched Domestique Gin, featuring British coriander, Spanish orange peel, French hops, Belgian angelica, Italian rosemary and Californian raisins and now available in glass bottles sealed with a piece of bike inner tube! I’m generally a huge fan of Tarquin’s so was disappointed to find their Blood Orange Gin too sweet and with too little juniper for my palate, but I can’t wait to try the two other new gins.
My Month in Gin
The highlight of the month had to be World Gin Day which, like almost everything else, went virtual this year. The celebration began with an incredible video that saw a gin and tonic being passed over 27,483 miles – and between 34 distilleries – from Scapegrace in New Zealand, via Australia, Japan, Cambodia and Europe, to Aviation Gin in Portland USA. It even features a little cameo from Ryan Reynolds (sort of)!
I celebrated the day by joining Warner’s on their inaugural Virtual Tour and Tasting. The well-organised, ticketed, tour includes a stunning box containing 5 x 5cl bottles of Warner’s Gin and 3 x 20cl Fever-Tree mixers and offers an access-all-areas experience from the comfort of your sofa with cold ice and gin within easy reach and no risk of stepping in a cow pat! If you want to take part enter discount code DINGDING15 for 15% off (although you’ll need to be quick, the code expires at 23:59 on 30/6/20). Another highlight was Sipsmith’s sensational 24hr Martini Throwing Marathon; not only was it highly entertaining (and kept me company during a very sleepless night) but the funds raised will also be split between worldwide hospitality charities to help support the industry in these difficult times.
And that was really just the tip of the iceberg this month! We were all disappointed when Junipalooza was postponed this year but the clever chaps at Gin Foundry came up with Virtua-Palooza to tide us over. Olivier Ward hosted a live online tasting during which we discovered the contents of, and met the makers behind, our four drams: Warner’s Farmed and Foraged; Herno Pink Btl Gin; Adnams Copper House Gin; and Tarquin’s Treth Ha Mog.
Then there was also another great Sipping Rooms live tasting with Salcombe and their Rosé Sainte Marie Gin, a virtual Sipsmith tour, a Trevethan Distillery tour hosted by Social Gin Girl and, of course, National Martini Day too!
Welcome to My Collection
It’s been another amazing month for gifts! Thank you to Boutique Bar Brands for Salcombe Gin ‘Rosé Sainte Marie’, to One Gin for their Sage & Apple Gin, to Tarquin’s for The Cornish Sunshine Blood Orange Gin and to The Chesshire Set for Off-Piste Gin which is produced in collaboration with Sibling Distillery. I was also delighted to receive London to Lima Gin from my big brother and Ólafsson Icelandic Gin from the ever lovely Gin Monkey. Finally, the incredibly kind folk at The Orkney Gin Company sent me something to thank me for #GinADayMay, and (ironically!) to tempt me to cheat on gin, in the form of their Akvavit; I think you’ll agree the bottle is a stunner and I tell you what, the contents is definitely enough to turn my head too!
And, after a tough few weeks juggling looking after both my kids and my parents, I also treated myself to a couple of purchases; Sipsmith’s World Gin Day Martini and Victory’s Pilot Hop 2.0 – Azacca Navy Strength Gin.
Catching Up and Looking Forward
I’m hoping to start writing a bit more going forward and started with a (slightly belated) #GinADayMay 2020 Recap. I’ve also worked with The Gin Guide to update my Recommended Gin Blogger interview. Looking ahead to July I can’t wait to take part in another Sipping Rooms Tasting Live this time with my local distillery, East London Liquor Company. Hope you and yours are all well and see you next time 🍸🛎🛎