Couple of Saturdays ago, it was World Gin Day apparently. Who thinks of these things? Still, it provided me with a legitimate reason to think that popping to a Gin Tasting at 11 am on Saturday morning was an entirely reasonable thing to do.
If you hadn’t noticed, gin is having something of a renaissance, every food fair I attend sees an increasing number of specialist local gins flavoured with all manner of botanicals, herbs and spices, a far cry from your straightforward Gordon’s (of which, admittedly I am still a fan). Gin is no longer the preserve of the middle-aged, younger people are now more likely to drink gin than the over 40s apparently and it is anticipated that gin sales will top £1.3bn in the UK by 2020.
My desire for gin for breakfast also meant I discovered a new Farm Shop. Always a good thing. I get a bit lazy having the amazing Gonalston Farm Shop on my doorstep, but here is another find – Maxey’s in Kirklington, no wet fish here but some great veg and a lovely selection of foodie treats.
There were over 20 artisan and craft gins to be tested, and the Husband and I managed to get through the lot. We have the stunning Redsmiths London Dry Gin (distilled locally at the first gin distillery to open in the city for over 150 years) on order and brought back a bottle of Two Birds Old Tom Gin (distilled in Leicestershire). We thought these would be great for Christmas – I laugh a hollow laugh as I look at the 3/4 empty bottle sitting on the side…
Other gins on offer included Warner Edwards’ traditional Dry, Elderflower and Rhubarb gins. Distilled in Northamptonshire and made with citrus and ginger, hand-picked elderflowers and rhubarb originally from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, award- winning Sloe Motion gins from North Yorkshire, dry and barrel aged gin from the Cotswolds using bay, lavender and lime, Burleighs Export and Dry Gin from Leicestershire. Sovereign Spirits from Clipstone, Mansfield featured summery Apple and Blackberry and Gooseberry and Elderflower gin liqueurs.
Things have come a long way since your traditional G&T with ice and a slice.