From heatwave to downpours, July has been a bit of a roller-coaster of a month. I started the month too ill to attend Imbibe Live and ended it unable to take a trip to the Telegraph Gin Experience as my mother is too ill to look after my kids. Luckily there were some ginny highlights in the middle…
Last year I raved about Junipalooza London and said the one thing the organisers shouldn’t do is make it any bigger. And lo, this year Gin Foundry promised us “better, not bigger”. Better began before you even stepped through the door, with the promise of an extended Newcomer zone, additional experiential zones and also a digitised show guide to help you plan your visit in advance. And the doors have changed too! Gone is the slightly underwhelming entrance opposite a building site on Pennington Street, and instead people were greeted by the tall ships at Tobacco Dock before passing through the bespoke branded archway.
Wow, what a month that was! I really hoped #GinADayMay would be a bit of a fun but I had no idea how many of you would embrace my little idea so wholeheartedly and I’m absolutely chuffed to bits you did!
Wow, what a month! I knew #GinADayMay would keep me busy but I didn’t expect it to be quite that bonkers. And then there were the gin releases, gin events and gin deliveries… Read on if you, like me, need a bit of a reminder of what happened this May.
“Bold” is the operative word where Turncoat Gin is concerned. Terry Langton, their founder and head distiller, refuses to cut corners in pursuit of each new recipe (he blames his years working in beer!), and each finished product is always striking in its originality. I was blown away by their Cascade Gin when I first met Terry at Catford Gin Festival in 2017 and when I saw him again at the same festival (albeit in a rather grander venue) last year, Terry returned with not one, not two, but three new gins; the citrusy Our Man in Sicily; the delicate and floral Dragon Tears (featuring the top buds of the jasmine tea plant); and my personal favourite, the spicy Bold St. Chai.
Well, April was supposed to be a healthy month after the birthday indulgences of March but, between the school holidays and some exciting new gin releases, things didn’t exactly go to plan! Read all about it below.
For a true gin-lover, Sipsmith require no introduction, and it won’t be long before their new Orange & Cacao Gin needs none either; it’s that good! After 10 years in the business, and with plenty of competition in the craft spirit category, Sipsmith are still undoubtedly leading from the front. I’ll be amazed if anything pushes this latest member of the family out of my Top Ten this year!
I love gin, and I want to promote and protect it, but sometimes it all feels like it’s become a little bit serious. So I’ve come up with a fun idea that I hope will encourage collaboration, communication and creativity. The idea is a social media challenge called #GinADayMay and I really hope you’ll all join in!
It is testament to the enduring appeal of, and fascination with, whisky that Whisky Live has been running for 19 years and is now held in over 25 countries. And it’s a measure of the extent to which gin has shot to prominence in recent years that, on 29 and 30 March 2019, the first Gin Live London shared the bill with its well-heeled forebear. Both festivals were held in the stunning grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company; considered the second oldest military corps in the world and, today, a registered charity whose purpose is to attend to the “better defence of the realm” … [insert Brexit joke here]