Like Karis, I don’t enjoy ginger but gin has never been a problem. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I was excited to hear the Gin Festival was coming to Bristol while I’d be visiting.
The festival, which has been touring the UK since 2013, was set up at The Station in the Bristol city centre. It’s an easily accessible venue with a great courtyard. We arrived about an hour after gates had opened and the place was packed, music was playing and people were mingling happily.
While the atmosphere was great, the queue to the ticket counter was a bit daunting. I guess that’s the price to pay for an atmosphere like that, but at least the crew were up to the task and the line moved quickly and efficiently, and before you knew it we had our stack of vouchers.
Vouchers and brilliant glass now in hand, we browsed the comprehensive event guide about all the gins available at the festival. The booklet was complete with drink recipes, gin quizzes, tasting notes and other interesting info. We picked various drinks from the booklet (admittedly, the garnishes played an important role in the decision making) and headed over to the bars. They were divided into four different areas and the booklet guided you to the right corner of the counter. Very efficient! Cocktails were also available, but we stuck to the main feature of the night – gin and tonic.
Speaking of tonic, there was a selection of Fever-Tree tonics available as mixers and the guide book came with recommended tonics for each gin. And the recommendations seemed spot on.
After cruising around the crowded expo hall we headed out to the courtyard to enjoy our drinks. It was surprising and pleasing to notice how different all the different variations were and I developed a new-found appreciation for the different styles of gin and the versatility of such a simple combination.
What we drank (garnish and mixer):
- Blackwoods Vintage Dry 60 (mint & lime with Fever-Tree aromatic tonic)
- Poetic License Old Tom (apple with Fever-Tree ginger ale)
- Trevethan Cornish Gin (orange and clove with Fever-Tree elderflower tonic)
- Eccentric Citrus Overland (lemon and thyme with Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic)
- Kalevala (lime with Fever-Tree Indian tonic)
- Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger (apple with Fever-Tree soda water)
- Ely Dark Chocolate (with orange juice)
We really enjoyed our night and the drinks we tried (sadly all agreed that the Ely Dark Chocolate wasn’t to our tastes, but it’s good to give things a go, though!), so thanks to the Gin Festival team!
Perhaps the Gin Festival should come to Finland?
Details: The Gin Festival has regular events around the UK, take a look at their website to see where they will be next!