In case you missed it, here’s the story so far…..
I was invited by The Lakes Distillery to the launch of their brand new gin.
On a yacht.
I said yes, and booked cheap and cheerful train tickets to London, arriving hours before the event. After a leisurely afternoon in Villandry St James, it was time to head to The Yacht. But as I made my way there, buffeted by the gale force winds and rain of Hurricane Gonzales, I realised all my tweeting and emailing and map checking had severely drained my battery. And I found myself outside The Savoy with almost zero.
What’s a girl to do?
Seek sanctuary and visit the Beaufort Bar, obviously.
This glorious haven of gilt and midnight velvet proved my sanctuary. Greeted by elegantly attired staff, seated within moments and my phone and charger whisked away behind the bar, and glass of champagne in hand, I soon warmed up again.
It’s amazing what elegant surroundings, a spell of people watching and a glass of champagne can do.
I persuaded myself to let my phone charge for an hour, though I knew this would make me a little late for the festivities and so, on the recommendation of my hostess Olivia, ordered the Girl from Jalisco, from their brand new cocktail menu.
The menu alone is a work of art in itself, featuring pop-up images of some of the most iconic names in the world of Hollywood and celebrity, such as Coco Chanel and Frank Sinatra. Sadly no battery in my phone means no images. Sigh.
The Girl from Jalisco, is a tall fruity number, with a good depth of smoke given to it by Tequila. Light acidity, a hint of sweetness and a tickle of smoke? I could see why Olivia thought it would suit me.
Refreshed, battery charged, it was time for the main event. The Yacht. I walked the short distance to see the lights of the venue glisten in the distance as the sun set and I was thankful for my flat shoes when it came to wandering down the steep gangplank to set foot onboard.
Greeted with yet more fizz, I soon spotted familiar faces and began to mingle and chatter. It was a great chance to meet fellow gin enthusiasts I know through Twitter and blogging, and spot one or two famous faces.
Throughout the evening tasting sessions were held, offering attendees chance to move away from the fizz and onto the gin itself. The gin has been created as a sipper – and to be truthful, it really works as one. As well as the excellent citrus flavours, which you can pick up immediately, it has a good kick of juniper, and higher floral notes. Add in a good savoury, almost saline base and I’m definitely convinced.
For those with a sweeter palate, Vesper cocktails were offered as an alternative and again this worked delightfully, the sweetness from the Lillet merely softens the gin, not overpowering it and the citrus works well.
The gin has a host of local botanicals to help bring it to life. As well as locally sourced juniper, bilberry, heather, hawthorn and meadowsweet all combine to add the floral notes. Add in cassia bark and citrus peel from sunnier climes, English grain spirit and water from the Lakes, and you’ve got a fascinating gin.
As well as the tastings, a few words were also said by Chemmy Alcott, brand ambassador for The Lakes Distillery Gin. On her retirement from professional skiing, Chemmy had said that she was most looking forward to being able to indulge in her favourite drink, gin and tonic. A beautiful partnership was born, leading to the still in which the gin is distilled being named ‘Chemmy’.
The evening wore on, more gin was sipped and, time ticked towards my train home.
Like Cinderella, but with my shoes firmly attached, I headed back to Euston to catch the last train home. But I’ll be back very soon – there are one or two more London visits coming over the next few months.
And don’t expect this to be the last time the Lakes Distillery appears on my blog. I’ve already sampled their whisky, The One, a blend of whiskies from across the British Isles. This blend creates a delicious flavour combination that’s both fruity and honeyed with a lovely tickle of smoke.
They’re also about to launch their vodka, bringing them to a trio of spirits – and they haven’t ruled out other flavour combinations and blends. I’m expecting a lot from this distillery.
But that, dear reader, is for another day.
As this event was a launch party all drinks and nibbles consumed were free to all attendees. With grateful thanks to both The Lakes Distillery, The Yacht and O PR.
And The Savoy and Olivia for their kind rescue.