Back in April, I received an email asking if I would like to attend Nottingham’s annual Gin Festival. Like I would say no? However, ask me this not even twelve months ago and I would have politely declined.
You see, my gin discovery happened at 32,000 in the air somewhere across the Black Sea whilst watching Deadpool. There was a lady sat next to me who asked if I fancied a gin with her – slightly random I know but me being that little bit too polite I said ‘Sure’. A miniature bottle of Beefeater and Schweppes later, I think i’d finally got it. I had finally acquired the taste for gin like so many others even though it just tastes like pure chemicals the first few sips but, me and this wonderful stranger enjoyed a second G&T together as we approached the United Arab Emirates. That is where my gin discovery began.
I wouldn’t call myself a connosuir but I know what I like when it come to the stuff. Hendricks is my favourite and unsurprisingly, one of the most expensive… me and my expensive taste! I’d never ventured into the world of flavoured gins until the Gin Festival and it opened my eyes to an even more wondrous world of my new favourite tipple.
I attended the festival with my good friend Chloe and we met up with Loren, blogger over at Life At Lorens. We were given our very own keepsake glass on arrival branded with the Gin Festival logo and the sponsors branding, Fever Tree (the best tonic waters FYI). Inside our goodie bag was also a branded pen and a Gin Bible which detailed all the gin and their oriGINs (see what I did there…) inside for future reference. I was given my blogger lanyard and £20 worth of token to enjoy plenty of the good stuff throughout the day. There were also up -close and personal masterclasses with some of the brands happening throughout the day which I would have loved to have attended but it seemed like a popular attraction and it was difficult to get a look in!
After finding our bearings, we went to listen to the incredible pipes of the lady who was singing with her band front and centre before heading towards the cocktail area. Whilst all the cocktails sounded delicious, I think I could have chosen better. What I had chosen was in fact, all I can describe as cold, very mild flavoured tomato soup. I assume it was some sort of gin based bloody Mary but I didn’t enjoy it and had to ask one of the stations to pour it away and swill out my glass.
Thankfully though, there were plenty more options to try on the menu and so I opted for a pretty little pink number that caught my eye. I my memory serves me correctly, it was actually an Indian gin and it was so sweet yet so sour, the perfect combination when added with a slice of grapefruit.
Chloe and Loren both opted to try the Hazelnut Gin which was delicious. So much so I am placing an order for a bottle of that along with my personal favourite from the day, the Cucumber Gin which was from the Best of British stall. I’d say even if you are a gin lover or not, the festival is a great way to spend an afternoon with friends, try something new, listen to some amazing local talent and see whats on offer at the food court area. You never know, you might just, like me, fall in love with a new spirit and enjoy what gin makers from all over the world has to offer.