I and Cole were both lucky enough to be invited to the Gin Festival in Nottingham! The festival was founded in 2013 by a couple from Leeds, and now it is a non-stop tour around the UK and one of the biggest gin festivals! And I can see why! It was so much fun with over 100 gins to try, cocktails to taste, masterclasses to watch and music to dance too! Being an avid gin lover myself this festival was right up my street and made such a nice different to my cheap gin from Tesco (being a student I have to, unfortunately, budget on my alcohol choice!). So being able to taste all these delightful gins in so many different flavors was so so delish!
The festival itself was held at the Nottingham Conference Centre at Nottingham Trent University (getting slightly merry in our own university was a funny experience) so was local to us. It was a beautifully sunny day also and with the glass ceiling the sun was bursting through! They had decorated the place lovely, with bunting all along the sides and the gin bars lining the walls!
When we first arrived we were given each a glass, a book of gin discovery, a pen, and a cute badge, all of which you were able to keep after the festival was over. So, now came the hard part!! Picking which gin to try!! I wish we could try all but I do not think my stomach or head could handle that!
The festival was based on a token system, whereby you bought 1 token which gave you a shot of your choice of gin, a fever tree tonic of many flavors to go with and also a little garnish. So well worth the money! The gin stands were split into 3 sections; the UK, International, and Sloe Gin, all of which were in the book you were given. We both decided that for our first one we would try a gin from the UK.
Gin 1 of the day!
I had the Cucumber gin with an elderflower tonic and a slice of cucumber! This mix of cucumber and elderflower is heavenly and practically summer in a glass. It is sweet from the tonic and cucumber but still sharp from the juniper in the gin!
Cole put the test a cornish gin called Trevethan Gin, a bold and multifaceted gin. It was advised to pair this with an elderflower tonic, with a slice of orange and a clove.
We both enjoyed our first gins immensely and it was very nice to also try different tonic waters. Both being fans of elderflower we really loved the fact we could pair our favorite flavor with these gins.
We sipped our gins at one of the tables in the sunshine, having a little boogie to the band! Who were singing a very good song actually all about hot nuts… surprisingly catchy!
First gin down, we thought we would go on an explore and see what else the festival had to offer other than 100 gins!!! Upstairs, there was more gin stands, a photo booth, snack bar, cocktail bar, a room where gin companies had stands that showcased their gins and a room were the masterclasses were held.
The five gins that were being showcased were; Masons Yorkshire Gin, Brockman’s, Tinker, Willem Barentsz and Poetic Licence Northen Dry Gin! But I must say we tried the Masons Yorkshire Tea Edition and it blew my mind!!! This was by far the yummiest gin I have ever tasted! My two drinks I am known for in one (could I get any more British!) tea and gin. I enjoyed this gin so much I went and spent my token on a full one!
Gin 2 of the day
This time round it was time for the sloe! I fancied something real fruity and flavor and when I come across a gin in the book with ginger and rhubarb it screamed my name! This gin was paired with a soda water and a few chunks of apple. This gin made in Edinburgh was tangy, zesty and sweet all in one go and I would highly recommend. It was also a pretty pastel pink color which added to my love for this gin!
Cole also went for an Edinburgh gin (back to his roots) but tried the elderflower flavor. Being his favorite drink I think this was the top gin of the day for him! This was a simple drink with no garnish and only soda water so the elderflower really stole the show with its bursting sweetness.
Feeling slightly merry at this point (oopsie) we headed for the photo booth! choosing a very dashing bright blue afro and some nice aviator goggles we really looked the part! The picture to come later but I am sure you can just picture how beaaaautifull this looked!!
India and Cole that is enough time testing and being silly it is time to learn! So we headed off to a masterclass. We went to the masterclass run by FEW gin, an American gin made using white whiskey! Here we learned all about the different types of gin, from London dry, American and Sloe gin! He even told us how to make a basic gin with just vodka!! We were pretty impressed and keen to try and make our own after the masterclass.
We also got to try the FEW gin, but I do not think this gin was for us (especially when we were drinking it straight). Do you think you can tell from our faces?
Gin 3 of the day
Now after loving the tea gin so so much I was back at the sloe end spending my token on this beautiful gin! Served simply with tonic water to showcase the sweet tea undertone.
Cole also went for the Mason Gin but the classic rather than the tea! This was served with tonic water also with strawberry and mint!
Needing to soak up some of the alcohol we headed for the food stands where we tucked into a scrumptious meatball stew from Alimento and some salt and pepper chips from Dim Sum SU.
6 gins tested and all very much loved! I think we had two clear favorites from the ones we tried which were for me the Masons Yorkshire Tea Edition (as you can probably tell from how much I have raved about it in this one post!) and Cole’s the Edinburgh Elderflower gin.
This was such a fun afternoon and what a way to spend a Sunday sipping on some of the best gin and tonics in the sunshine! I would highly recommend the Gin Festival to everyone especially if you are a gin lover yourself because you do not realise how many varieties there are out there and some are so weird and wonderful you wouldn’t believe!
Thank you Gin Festival we will be back next year!!
Until next time
India and Cole