I was lucky enough to be invited back to Gin Festival to review their 2018 event in Guildford and damn, I was excited!
Drinking alcohol as a vegan doesn’t have to be difficult. A large majority of spirits are vegan, one of them being gin. Obviously if they contain animal byproducts such as honey or they’re cream based then it’s a no-go but other than that there are many to choose from which were showcased at the Gin Festival.
On arrival I was given a large gin glass to enjoy my drinks in. I absolutely love this as it has the date on the front so it will hold great memories for years to come. As a cocktail drinker I have become an accidental glass collector too, so this will fit in well with the rest!
There was an amazing shop near to the entrance of this event with so many different brands of gin, from Skully Gin to Black Tomato Gin and beyond, some of which I’d never seen! Nearby there was also a band playing which were great. They fit in so well with the vibe of the evening and just added something a little extra.
I spotted Brockmans stand which have been a sure favourite of mine since Gin Festival 2017. Their branding is dark and beautiful and the flavours are gorgeous – Blueberries, blackberries, lemon and orange peel to name but a few. Brockmans has the perfect amount of sweetness for someone who isn’t usually a gin drinker… me!
A brand I hadn’t heard of before, PJ Gin, were at Gin Festival this year too. Made in Belgium, this brand had an awesome geometric design to their packaging and various flavours – Dry, Raspberry, Apple and Elderflower. This stall was certainly one of the busiest, I think due to the large glass containers holding the coloured liquids – Very eye catching! I tried the Raspberry and Elderflower, both of which were lovely but I definitely preferred the Elderflower and would recommend!
Last but by no means least, definitely the stand out brand of the night, Tinker. Although I tried Tinker’s products at the 2017 Gin Festival, this year I had a long chat with Dan Walsh, Brand Ambassador for Tinker. Dan was knowledgeable yet humorous, the type of guy you could learn a lot from. After sampling Tinker both straight and with tonic, Dan recommended trying the Tinker Berry Fizz, so off to the cocktail bar I went!
At the cocktail bar there were many delicious sounding cocktails such as a Rhubarb Rumble or Damson Jam Cooler but of course, I went for the Tinker Berry Fizz.
The Tinker Berry Fizz is described as ‘an indulgent mouthful of boozy fruits‘ that showcases Tinker’s strawberry gin.
After slurping on a few of these I went to look at the bar that purely serves G&T’s. Equipped with the little handbook given to me on entry, I began deciding which gins I wanted to try. When flicking through the pages I saw the word “magic“. Sharish Blue Magic gin is a rich blue colour made from extracts of the blue pea flower (how cool!) but that’s not all. When chucking in tonic, it reacts and turns a bright pink/purple colour – It truly is magic! Although seemingly more of a novelty product, the flavours are actually great, a fresh citrus and berry taste.
It was quite dark in the venue so I couldn’t get the perfect snap of it, but here’s some videos so you can see what I mean (it’s AMAZING!)
All spirits were paired with Schweppes’ new 1783 collection. I wasn’t expecting to be impressed, Schweppes was previously a brand that wouldn’t be my first choice but the new collection changed my mind.
There are a range of flavours – Crisp tonic water, Light tonic water, Salty Lemon, Quenching Cucumber, Aromatic Floral and Golden Ginger Ale. My favourite of these was the Quenching Cucumber, this had a very strong cucumber flavour and I could honestly drink this alone, it was delicious!
Overall, I had a great night and would highly recommend trying out a Gin Festival near you, they’re UK wide!
What’s your favourite gin or gin based cocktail?