FOOD: Liverpool Gin Festival, 2016*


If you’d said to me this time last year that
I’d be actively, willingly, attending a gin festival, I’d have laughed at you.
I was not a gin drinker at all, and couldn’t see the appeal- it seems that
everywhere you look, gin bars are opening and becoming principle stops on every
night out. A friend of mine introduced me to the classic G&T whilst
visiting the acclaimed Botanical Gin Garden in Liverpool’s famous Baltic
Triangle. The rest, as they say, is history and I’ve been a gin fiend ever

The Gin Festival is a genius concept, put
together by a husband and wife team in 2012. The Festival is now considered to
be the largest in the UK, hosting thousands of peoples in a multitude of
different cities. I was absolutely over the moon to be invited as guest blogger
to their Liverpool Event, held in the infamous Lutyen’s Crypt: aka, Paddy’s
Wigwam in the Metropolitan Cathedral. I invited my friend along with me to
experience the event and we were both overwhelmed with how fantastic the whole
thing was; incredibly well put together, in an exciting and enormous yet
intimate venue not far from the city centre.

Arrival was easy: we were greeted at the door
and shown down into the crypt. I received my little Bloggers Press Pass and
pack, full to the brim with goodies and tokens to treat ourselves to some of
the gin offerings. Every guest to the Festival receives a large Gin Festival
glass to use all night (and then take home afterwards to remember the amazing
night you’ve had!) You’re also given “The Gin Book” – or, as I referred to it
as, the Gin Bible – to help you make your choices throughout the night and
introduce you to the monumental amount of gins on offer to you.  

The front of house team informed us that
there are a number of different bars, each hosting different gins, with British
and International gins amongst them. Walking through the venue was fantastic-
there was definitely something for everyone with bars, food stalls and a photo
booth strewn amongst a band, seating areas and all the gin master classes you
could possibly fit into a single night.

We had a little wander around and got our
bearings before heading on over to the international gin bar. We weren’t really
sure what kind of gin we fancied, both of us under no illusion that all gin is
the same. Firstly we fancied something a little different, to entice our taste
buds and after a brief chat with the bartender decided on 5th Gin as a brand, and, more specifically, their
Earth gin. We mixed it up with the Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water on offer to make a fruity and
refreshing drink that was still really sharp in its flavour. I definitely think
that of all the different gins we tried that night, this one was our favourite
– we even went back for seconds, later on in the evening! 

We went onto try a
few of the cocktails that they had on offer: I went for the Thorny Issue
cocktail whilst Catrin chose the Singapore Sling. The Thorny issue contained
Jensen’s dry gin and Apérol and was fruity and orange flavoured. The Singapore
Sling, on the other hand, embodied gin, cherry liquor and the Northern
favourite Benedictine. Both were absolutely delicious but definitely hit us in
all the right places. At this point, we treated ourselves to hog roast
sandwiches and tapas snack boxes to line our stomachs a little. We finished off
the evening sampling a few more amazing gins and stumbled out of the event
hours later with our spirits high, a good night had.

As well as the wide range of gins on offer,
there was also the opportunity to speak to brands about their gins and have a
little taste test- try before you buy never sounded so sweet! We were
introduced to the concept of the Gin
a monthly subscription box which provides you with exclusive gin
miniatures each month, accompanied by tonic waters and the perfect accompanying
snacks. Subscription boxes are all the rage at the moment but I can’t think of
a better one than one full of gin. If you’re a gin lover, then the Gin Festival
is definitely the one for you and I 100% recommend that you check it out when
it visits a city near you, it is the perfect way to spend a cold, winter-y
weekend. The event is very much affordable and really does have something for
everyone: I know for a fact that I’ll be back again next time to sample some
more amazing drinks!