Friday 3rd November 2017
We were kindly invited to attend the winter Gin Festival at Victoria Baths in Manchester! They hosted 5 events over 4 days, and we attended the Friday evening session which ran between 6.30pm – 11.00pm. The retail price of tickets were £16.
This is an excerpt from their promotional website:
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“On arrival you will be handed your very own Gin Festival Copa Balloon Glass and a brochure that tells you all about the gins at the festival.
Our bars operate on a token system and do not take cash so you will need tokens to get your drinks. Tokens are £5 each with one token paying for a single measure of gin, garnish and a Fever-Tree mixer.
Throughout the event there will be live music and entertainment, talks from gin industry experts, delicious food and lots of chit chat with other gin lovers!”
|Victoria Baths Bar Room|
Upon arrival at the festival, the friendly staff handed us a pack containing a very informative gin guide and a wonderfully sized copa balloon glass. We were also given a wristband which would become our contactless tag that we could top up with money at designated stations and use as wearable bankcard.
One thing we noticed was the environmental considerations of the festival. There was a volume of information about the restoration project, for those interested. There were no plastic straws available – there is an increasing awareness of this issue with many companies pledging to abandon plastic straws all together – and the bars were separating recyclable glass. It was a shame though that the same consideration was not given to the large number of disposable plastic shot glasses which were used liberally.
Aside from the bar room, there was an entertainment hall with live music and food stalls, and a brand room where you could try free samples of gin. The brand room had stalls from Manchester Three Rivers, Cuckoo, Thomas Dakin, PJ, Tinker Gin, Black Tomato or Brocklands, where you could ask questions and try serving suggestions.
|Black Tomato Gin Stall|
|Manchester Three Rivers Masterclass|
The Gin Highlights:
|Gotik London Dry Gin|
This is a 40% ABV Portuguese gin the first to come from the Ribatejo region, which uses a combination of a whopping 21 botanicals, including butternut squash and tomatoes! Gotik gin is complex: smooth and sweet, crisp and aromatic. Cinnamon, cardamon and red fruits prevail. The recommended serving is rosemary and Indian Tonic. This gin is only currently available in the UK via the GinFestival.com website.
|Manchester Three Rivers|
|PJ Gin Elderflower|
Another GinFestival.com UK exclusive, PJ Gin comes from Belgium and the Crafts Spirits Company. The company do 4 variations: Dry, Elderflower, Raspberry and Apple. We didn’t get the chance to try their standard dry gin, but we did try the other flavours. Whilst the Raspberry and Apple varieties were very tart (almost like the cheap Sourz liqueurs you get from the supermarket), the Elderflower was truly delightful. It was subtle, fresh and simple, probably because they only use two botanicals aside from the mandatory juniper berries: elderflower pollen and lemon.