Finally, the days are getting longer and warmer, spring is on its way, and we might even have a roadmap out of lockdown! There’s still a long slog ahead of us, especially for those in the hospitality industry, but at least there’s a little light at the end of the tunnel. As for February, it might have been a short month but there’s been plenty going on, not least my five-year anniversary of Gin A Ding Dinging! Thank you to everyone who has supported and helped me so far on this journey; with any luck there’s even more to come over the months and years ahead.
There’s no denying that January in lockdown was pretty grim but we made it, so give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back. And, if you endured dry January too, give yourself a round of applause and a stiff drink! I had good intentions of having a drier January this year but, between home schooling and judging the World Gin Awards Final, that was pretty short-lived indeed.
Some of the gins featured below were kindly gifted. Article contains affiliate links.
What a year 2020 was. And what resilience, generosity and determination distillers have demonstrated; adapting events to online experiences, turning their hand to sanitiser production and continuing to not only make our favourite spirit, but create new ones too! Unsurprisingly, most of last year’s releases were line extensions rather than new brands, but my goodness, there were some crackers in there. So, without further ado, here are my top ten of 2020.
So it’s been yet another month of ups and downs ending in more tiers than ever, but nevertheless I hope you’ve managed to have a peaceful and happy Christmas. If you’ve been, understandably, burying your head in the sand lately, read on for some booze news you may have missed.
With countless new releases, more gin judging and my debut in Gin Magazine it’s been a pretty good month for me. So here’s a little recap on what I’ve been up to, and some booze news and new gin alerts you may have missed, as we hurtle head first into the festive season!
I could have sworn I’ve hardly left the house recently (the last few months have really caught up with me lately) but the joy of writing this column is remembering the fun I have had as well as some of the more positive booze news and interesting new gin releases. As we head into yet more lockdowns do try to keep your chin up and your gin in moderation!
Anyone who knows me, or reads my blog, knows that I don’t just love gin; I love the stories behind gin too. Where, why and how it’s made. What first inspired its makers. I suppose you could call it the origin story. Today’s tale is a little different; for this time the gin has been created to enable the true story to take place.
I don’t know about you, but for me September flew by. On the plus side, the kids went back to school. On the flip side more events were cancelled – including Junipalooza and Think Gin – Craft Distilling Expo’s Gin of the Year judging was postponed and, after an all too brief respite, the hospitality industry found itself on its knees again. Despite much criticism, and an official Public Health England report showing that only 2.8% of traceable transmissions happened in hospitality, the Government has enforced a 10pm curfew which has already directly resulted in the closure of Soho stalwart Milk & Honey.
Finally; a quiet month. As you all know, the last few months have been pretty crazy. And for all we know the next few months might be crazy too. But August, for me at least, was pretty quiet. And thank goodness for that. I was able to enjoy the family holiday we booked back in February despite everything and, for better or worse, even Instagram refused to work in Portugal giving me a proper break from my blogger duties! That did mean a little more work to pull this together of course but I think it was worth it…