As soon as I heard that The Great British Gin Festival was coming to Cheltenham, I just had to be there! Sales of gin have tripled since 2009 with Brits spending around £461 million last year and with over 315 distilleries now in the UK, the craft gin market is well and truly booming! Far from being out of fashion, gin is very much back en vogue and with over 100 gins to discover, I couldn’t wait to get to the festival to find out more.
It was a gorgeous summer evening in Cheltenham and what better to cool off than being able to soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere, kick off my heels and let my hair down whilst drinking my body weight in beautifully cool, refreshing gin with my fellow gin lover, Lesley.
Once we had picked up our special festival glasses and Gin Bibles, we headed to the cashless bar to pick up some tokens for drink purchases. A little pricey at £5 a token so we just took two each but nevertheless, we’d gone there to drink gin so drink gin we most certainly would!
Armed with information on a whole host of gins available, we were all set to get tasting! However there was so much choice! I would never have heard of some of these brands without the festival. Advice was given not only on what gins to choose but also what mixers would best complement the drink.
With not a house gin in sight, there was a whole variety of tantalising tastes on offer ranging from cool and crisp to delicious and light to floral and fruity. If you haven’t been a gin lover before, then I challenge you to come away without a bottle or two in your hand!
On offer at the festival, were trade stands with a mind blowing range of lovely gins to try, cocktail demos and presentations, live music and an opportunity to buy lots of gin related merchandise! Drinks stands were set out alphabetically so you could just navigate your way around all the brands on offer at your leisure. Notably eye catching in the gin bible were the unusual flavours of Baked Apple and Salted Caramel, Blackcurrant and Ginger and even Rhubarb and Custard. There doesn’t seem to be a Lady Janey variety just yet but watch this space, you never know!
My favourite on the trade stands was the refreshingly smooth Mermaid Gin from the Isle of Wight which brought a real taste of the seaside to Cheltenham. I’ve discovered that Amazon sell it for £38.00 so needless to say its now made its way on to my wish list. In addition, the host representing the elderflower, juniper and pink grapefruit infused Sir Robin of Locksley brand was fabulous. With a thorough knowledge and a genuine interest and enthusiasm for the product, he was engaging and inspiring and I’ll definitely be recommending Sir Robin of Locksley to others as a gin of choice. Again this is also available to purchase on Amazon.
Many thanks to The Great British Gin Festival and Mega Events for the opportunity to spend the evening with them. Until the next time everyone, cin cin gin!
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