If you’ve just completed Dry January than a huge congratulations to you! I opted for a slightly damper month but, when you see what I’ve been up to, I don’t think you’ll blame me for falling off the wagon!
2019 was yet another remarkable year for gin, which is predicted to overtake vodka as the UK’s biggest-selling spirit a mere ten years since Sipsmith, the instigators of the craft gin revolution, were granted the licence that opened the floodgates. And, with flavoured gin seeing 300% growth year on year (compared to gin’s modest 11%) – and WSTA playing catch-up with a new category definition – those floodgates are well and truly open. But amongst all that there was also innovation (in the ready-to-drink and low-alcohol markets), environmentalism (with Greensand Ridge leading from the front), fun to be had (who can forget #GinADayMay?!) and some really, really cracking gins. So, after much consideration, here are my favourites:
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.