Celebration of Gin

16-Jul-2017 - 8:00pm

Gin tasting and special guest presenter Sarah Ellis

To Gin or not to Gin, that is the question?

Another fantastic night as had by all at the Bushey Synagogue Celebration of Gin evening, organised by the gin loving Events Committee. 

The guest presenter was Sarah Ellis, who currently works for The Craft Drink Co and has a number of Wine and Spirits Education Trust qualifications. Her areas of expertise include artisan spirits, craft beers and ciders. What an awesome job, for a lovely lady who was friendly, approachable and really knew her stuff.

As usual I was on the wine, although I did taste every gin straight up and with tonic as I don’t mind a G&T although I do have a penchant for a tonic without much Quinine as I think it detracts from the elegant flavour of the gin itself.

The food was provided by Kellmans, was really tasty and there was plenty of it, luckily I didn’t eat beforehand as I definitely ate my fill at the event and I think everyone was satisfactorily stuffed by the end of the evening. There was such an array of food from humus and falafel, salads, deep fried cauliflower, frittata to name just a few of the delicious treats on offer. And if there was not enough gin to drink, the desert was a gin and grapefruit sorbet.

Now on to the main event, the gin:

Sipsmith London Dry Gin – quintessential expression of a classic, traditional London Dry Gin. Bold, complex and aromatic. This one wasn’t for me, in fact it resembled surgical spirit and from the sounds coming from those around me it wasn’t a big hit.

Glasgow Distillery Old Makar Tom Gin – Before today’s dry gins, the popular style was both richer and sweeter. Makar Old Tom revives this tradition, complementing the bold juniper of makar with orange peel, almonds and a little honey. This was a sweet and tasty gin with quite a hit to the back of the throat at the end.

Cotswolds Distillery Cotswolds Dry Gin – A unique botanical mix of Cotswolds lavender and bay leaf, grapefruit, lime, black pepper and cardamom seed. Won the award for being the world’s best gin in 2016, very pleasant indeed, I may have had 2!

Bloom London Dry Gin – No not that Blooms silly, its gin not kosher salami! Although this gin does have a Hechsher. Infused with botanicals such as chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo, the gin captures the uplifting sense of spring gardens. Floral and delicate and more importantly made by the first female master gin distiller, Joanne Moore. Really delicious with the recommended strawberry.

Foxdenton Rhubarb – Compounded the old fashioned way – the way you probably make Sloe Gin at home- by steeping diced rhubarb in London Dry Gin. They added sugar at the end of the process to keep the tartness and sweetness nicely balanced. Delicious, sweet and very tasty, not for everyone’s pallet but I thought it was great.

Sloe Gin and Damson Gin – distilled by none other than my father in law Leslie Pollock. What can I say, it’s truly delicious.As an extra treat the Damson Gin was paired with Champagne (actually Cava) to form a cocktail called a Damn Shame.

Isle of Wight Distillery Mermaids Gin – A refreshing, smooth and slightly sweet peppery gin with hints of citrus. This one was a little bitter for me but it was recommended to be served with grapefruit which probably added to the bitter intensity.

Isle of Wight Distilleries HMS Victory Navy Strength Gin – Has the same botanical mix as Mermaids Gin, but the HMS Victory gin is cut at a higher strength, so you get a higher concentration of botanical oils, giving a more intense flavour and aroma. It is seriously strong, at 57% ABV it would be!!

Many thanks to the Glasgow Distillery and the Isle of Wight Distillery for the very kind donations!

Finally to end off the fabulous evening, there was an auction to sell off all the remaining gin and I believe it was a rip roaring success.

Big applause for an awesome event, whatever will be next??

In the video below, you will need to enter the password G&T