Blimey. Whether it’s been celebrating birthdays and weddings, or stressing about secondary school applications and sibling rivalry, I’ve certainly had plenty of excuses for being driven to drink this month. And amongst all that there was International Gin and Tonic Day and a certain Yard of Gin too!
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.
Between celebrating a big birthday and despairing over (what I like to call Bloody) Brexit, March has been a seriously boozy month for me! So when better to start my new gin monthly column? The idea is to have a personal round-up of what has caught my eye and tickled my tastebuds this month. It’s a bit of a work in progress, so I’d love to hear your feedback below about what you like, what could be improved, and which gins you’ve enjoyed this month.
What a year 2018 has been for gin! Sales have been rocketing and the bubble isn’t going to burst any time soon. We’ve seen, as a consequence, every ‘gin’ imaginable join the fray, from Hubba Bubba Bubblegum Gin to shimmering spirits and, of course, sugar-saturated pink gins galore! But, for now, let’s forget the ridiculous and focus on the sublime. Here are my top ten for 2018 and this year it was harder than ever to pick them! Keep reading for your chance to win a bottle of Brentingby!
We were promised bigger and better at Catford Gin Festival this year and it certainly did not disappoint! It’s a measure of how much Team Catford value this small but perfectly formed event in their efforts to drive regeneration that, in the space of a year, the festival has moved from 2017’s empty retail unit down the road, to the Art Deco grandeur of Catford’s Broadway Theatre. With the imposing venue came higher ticket prices but, with a brochure, copa de balon glass and tote bag for every attendee as well as free tasters of all the gins available, it still offered excellent value for money. Especially with such an impressive line-up!