On Saturday 5th August I went along to my very first Gin Festival in Portsmouth at the Guildhall. When I received the invitation I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to try a variety of Gins. I’ve only recently discovered Gin you see. (I must say this mostly is due to cocktails) and I thought this was the perfect oppertunity to see what brands take my fancy. I decided to bring along the boyfriend, who claimed he didn’t particularly like Gin but that all changed!
“GinFestival.com is on a non-stop tour across the UK, bringing some of the world’s finest gins with it.
Established in 2013, with the first event held in Leeds, GinFestival.com began with husband and wife team, Jym and Marie Harris, who love gin and wanted to create events where people could go to find new gins, learn more about the spirit and have an excellent night along the way.”
Upon arrival I was greeted with a Press pack which contained a Gin balloon glass, a map and a pen, the ‘Gin Book’ which provides all the information that you will need, a Gin Festival badge, and a few sweets. All guests are given a Gin balloon glass, badge and booklet which I think is a lovely touch to remember the day.
The way it works is by using Tokens to buy your drinks. There is a section where you can exchange your cash for as many as you need. It is £5 for each Token and is 1 Token for each Gin along with your choice of Tonic unless you want to drink it neat. Cocktails are 2 Tokens each.
First things first, we headed for the cocktails. The one we chose was the ‘Singapore Sling’ which I personally believe has to be the favourite of them all. It is a super sweat and fruity cocktail, perfect for those who want something a little softer. And of course, it’s not completed without a little cherry on top.
When it comes to alcohol, I have quite sweat taste buds. So there were quite a few gins that caught my eye in the booklet. The first that I tried was the ‘Pj Gin Rasberry’ Lubbeek, Belgium. It was recommended pairing it up with the Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic although sadly there wasn’t any left, therefor I decided to go with a lemon tonic instead. I did enjoy the taste of this. I could taste the sweetness of the raspberries bursting through which made it very fruity. I think this is a perfect summer drink and I would have it again. Oh, and not to forget how much I loved the drink being pink too!
I also went for the ‘Pinkster’ Cambridge, England Gin which is best paired with the Fever – Tree Indian tonic. It was then garnished with Mint and Rasberry. I will admit I’m really not a fan of mint but surprisingly it didn’t stop me from enjoying it. The juniper isn’t too overpowering which goes well with how soft and fruity the raspberries are. So I think it contributes well. It was quite dry but altogether this is a lovely British Gin.
Throughout the day there were plenty of samples on offer from different brands. My favourite has to be the ‘Tinker’ Premium Gin as it wasn’t too strong for me and had a nice taste. There was also an outside section with hot food if you got a little peckish.
Overall we both had a great day and really recommend that if you haven’t been to one of these festivals before, then hurry and get yourself a ticket for next year! It is definitely worth it and such a fun day out. There really is something for everyone. We will both be there next year for sure. Thank you so much again for having me, till next time!