Last year Ma and I went to the ginvent pop up and had such a good afternoon that this year we went and brought friends.The set up was a little different from last year, with the vibe being more social and sessions lasting longer.
The deal was a gin and tonic on arrival and a free cocktail from the list. Further gin and tonics (a 35ml gin with accompanying tonic) were £5 a go, all 24 of the gins featured in the ginvent calendar were available and all the tonics were Fever-Tree.
The gin on the way in was the Whitley Neill‘s Ginger and Rhubarb gin, this was served with indian tonic and garnished with orange. It was like rhubarb and custard but more perfume-y, it was ok, Dionne liked it a lot, we all found it acceptable, except Ma, she was not keen.
After that we headed for the G&T’s. Ma and Christelle went for the Fifth Eight Navy Strength with served with indian tonic and a lemon twist. This was amazingly smooth but ginny. Ma is already a fan of 58 and loved this but surprisingly so did Sarah. Sarah is not a huge gin drinker but this seemed to bridge the gap between the experienced ‘I love juniper’ gin drinker (Ma) and ‘the like a g&t but mostly drinks pints’ drinker (Sarah). It’s interesting because when I tasted it at Junipalooza, I wasn’t sure that the standard strength (43%ABV) would stand up to tonic but loved it with water. Maybe the increased ABV and the change to botanicals that inspired helped? Not sure but it was pretty good. Christelle had the Tarquin’s Blackberry Gin which was served with the mediterranean tonic and garnished with a lime twist and a sprig of thyme. This wasn’t great, it was ok but as Christelle said, didn’t feel like a gin and tonic. Dionne went for a Slingsby Rhubarb with elderflower tonic and garnish with a raspberry, I already love this gin so I wasn’t surprised that I liked it but everyone else did too. I had a McQueen with indian tonic garnished with a lime wedge and a grapefruit twist. I had never tried this one before, I should confess that in my excitement I got this confused with the McHenry (it happens- it had been a long week) but I liked this as a gin and tonic and would like to taste it in other things.There were also cocktails to try. Ma and I went for a Rob Frost, which was Sir Robin of Locksley gin, bergamot liqueur and Dolin Blanc Vermouth, it was garnished with pomegranate and was ok but a bit to sweet for me.Locksley Distilling was also there to chat to and taste the Robin of Loscksley gin. They had been at Junipalooza but we didn’t get around to them, which was a shame because the gin is really different but really good. It’s a sweeter gin not a London Dry and is made in Sheffield (Robin Hood wasn’t from Nottingham apparently!). I loved this one, I preferred it straight not as suggested with elderflower tonic but I am my mother’s daughter and neat gin is always good.
Sarah went for a Ginty, which was Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom gin, with Cocchi Americano and soda water and tasted like a ginny mojito!
Christelle and Dionne went for a Blixen’s Bramble, Haymans gin, Haymans Sloe, grapefruit juicy and orgeat.Locksley Distilling weren’t the only gin makers at the pop up. We also tasted Sacred Cardamon gin which I wasn’t keen on, however, I loved the English Spiced Vermouth and the enthusiasm of the person telling me about it and I really want to try it in a negroni, I would have bought a bottle but Christelle nabbed the last one!
Also displaying were Hayman’s, I have drunk their Old Tom (which my brother is keen on, when I make him one!) and their Sloe gin which is fab but have never tasted their London Dry, which has more citrus notes than you would expect from a London Dry. I liked it but it’s hard to determine whether it would suit me as a regular all round gin. I guess I’ll have to buy a bottle at some point.Elephant Gin was there too and we tasted their London Dry, Navy Strength and Sloe Gins. I liked the Navy Strength and the Sloe, I ended up buying the Sloe, (it was a close call between the Elephant and the Hayman’s but I know I can get the Hayman’s from Waitrose) Ma bought the Navy Strength. It’s lovely and we drank some on Sunday at Ma’s and it’s better with a lemon twist and a slice of appleWe also tasted Mason’s Yorkshire Gin, still really good and One Sage Gin, this was the most disappointing of the gins, not because of the taste but because the people showing it couldn’t really tell me anything about it except that it was ethical. Which was a shame because it wasn’t a terrible gin but the whole point of these things is to meet the people who make them. 2017 could be the year that gin jumped the shark and this would be why.It was a great way to kick off Christmas and taste and buy some new gin.