As I write this, at home on Saturday night, I’m feeling a little disheartened. 13 June is World Gin Day, second only in my diary to World Martini Day (19 June) and World Whisky Day (21st May).
But this year, yet again, Manchester seems disinterested. I’ve had hints of events from Atlas Bar and Odd Bar, but aside from that, and newcomer Gintastic Festival (whose website seems a little slapdash), I’ve heard nothing. And I have asked. A lot. For about 3 months.
Had I realised nobody was doing anything, I’d have done something directly myself. I tried to encourage it, even asked if anyone wanted to organise something with me. But nothing. Nada. Not a sausage.
So, instead of this being a post pointing you to things here at home, I’m going to point you to some of the best things happening elsewhere. And whilst the events in Paphos and Melbourne might be a little too far, there’s still time (just about) to grab a train ticket and head off for a long gin fuelled weekend somewhere else in the UK.
Unsurprisingly, the capital is all over this.
Bloom Gin are holding an amazing event on 10th June with Master Distiller Joanne Moore. Joanne will be hosting a World Gin Day Master Class at the Bloom Gin Rooftop Garden Bar, at Vista, Trafalgar Square. The event also includes a Q&A session with author of “Gin Glorious Gin” Olivia Williams and tickets are £18 each and include a goody bag.
Fellow gin lover, Gin Foundry is hosting Junipalooza again this year. 24 ginsmiths from around the world will be making their way to London, for two days of gin geek heaven. Now, admittedly tickets are sold out, but you never know. And it’s definitely one for your diary next year.
Moo Cantina is holding a night for all you singletons out there – gin and speed dating. Six gins and a whistle stop tour focused on stories of the history and production of gin featuring craft Gins and flavoured tonics to tantalise your taste buds. And to save your blushes, this isn’t one of those one-to-one speed dating events, this is a group event, with a host to encourage you to mingle. I’m certain as the gin flows….
Oh yes, our Scottish cousins have seen the light, and they’re holding the second Scottish Juniper Festival. Three days (oh yes, it kicks off on Friday) of gin awaits the most ardent fans. More than 26 gins and four different tonics await your tastebuds, along with talks on tonics, gin cocktails and gin history. Sounds like heaven.
This really is one for the gin geeks – or the space geeks. Or both. The National Space Centre (yes, you read that right) is holding an event to celebrate too. As well as tasting gin from some of Britain’s best, there are a few intriguing events on including the Science of Gin, Gin Appreciation and Make Your Own Tonic Water.
Lazy Lounge in Leeds is going all out this year and dedicating an entire week to my favourite spirit. From gin samplings, to a night with Tom Warner of Warner Edwards gin, including tastings and cocktails, our fellow northerners are going to be thoroughly spoilt.
The Gin Garden at the New Ellington is also getting in on the act – with 8 tonic waters and 130 or so gins, you’re in good hands, and a little birdie tells me there’s a little discount over the weekend on your G&T. Perfect.
The Bath Gin Company is holding a street party. This Gin Lane/Beer Street themed party on Queen Street runs from 12pm to 6pm and includes gin tastings, distillation discussions and frolic. Beer and Cider, Pies and Burgers, Tapas and Strawberries.
Did you miss our favourites, the Gin Festival gang at Victoria Baths in Manchester? Fear not. A train ride away, they’re holding their Newcastle Gin Festival on World Gin Day weekend. And, whilst the logo may say sold out, as I write this, it does look like there may be a ticket or two to snaffle, if you’re quick.
For something a little more local, Liverpool Gin is hosting a Gin Party at St George’s Hall. They plan to reveal two brand new ﬂavoured versions and a range of new cocktails. I also hear tell that Fever Tree tonics might be there too. Your £12.50 ticket will buy you a Liverpool Gin & tonic on arrival, programme with tasting notes, live entertainment and souvenir glass, but most importantly, 10% of ticket proceeds go to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to buy malaria nets for African communities.
This list is by no means comprehensive. There are a multitude of small tastings and events in shops, bars and restaurants over the country. Just not here. At least not yet. So, if, come next Saturday, we’re still looking somewhat blankly for a heap of events to appear, there’s always this alternative.
Gin at home?