At the weekend Russell and I ventured to the Corn Exchange to take part in the afternoon session of the Gin Festival, here in Edinburgh for the third year!
On offer were local gins, Scottish gins and ones from further afield all set up and patiently waiting for the 3600 gin lovers to crash into the building.
Walking through the door, I was greeted by the lovely Laura who was helping organise the event. We were given a wristband each which you could load with money to buy your drinks. Each drink was £5 and your band was scanned by the friendly bar staff. This worked wonders and kept queues, if any, to a minimum. We also got two goblet glasses given to us to use for the day, which we got to keep – great for recreating my perfect gin cocktails at home!
Most importantly was the ‘Gin Book’ that was in our glass, this would decide how our day was going to pan out.
Flicking through the pages, the gins were split into sections and allocated certain bars from A-D. Bar D took our fancy as it contained more liquior types.
I spied the newly talked about Zymurgorium Sweet Violet Gin so obviously I had to try this. What a treat it was. It smelt and tasted like Parma Violet sweets.
Next I moved onto Braeckman Vanilla Jenever – this tasted like American cream soda but an adults version. I had added lemonade so it give it a little sweetness, even though it looked a bit curdled I still really enjoyed it.
I couldn’t go to a gin festival and not have my favourite Rhubarb and Ginger from Edinburgh Gin. I had this on the rocks and it went down very smoothly. First time for Russell trying this one and he liked it.
Russell’s top pick was Zymurgorium Manchester Marmalade at 40% this was the strongest gin of the day for us. Thankfully Fever-Tree were on hand with unlimited tonic, Indian tonic and lemonade. Great for me as most of you know I am a lightweight.
The atmosphere was great and the live singers that took to the stage managed to get crowds up to dance. There was a real party vibe in the main hall. However, Russell and I spent most of our time in the sample hall – can you blame us though? Everyone loves a freebie.
There were plenty of samples on offer – Tinker, Edinburgh Gin and Persie to name a few. The Tinker sample I tried was mixed with tonic, black pepper and chilli – it was certainly nippy.
Throughout the day Masterclasses ran which proved to be popular. So popular we struggled to get in.
Now the toughest decision of the day for me was which bottle to buy to have pride of place our drinks globe. After umpteen samples I think (for this month) I will be going with Boe Violet Gin – not only did it taste beautiful the bottle is very pretty. You can buy any gins from the festival on there website and get them delivered straight to your door. Perfect in the run up to Christmas (hint hint Mum/Dad/Russell)
If this wasn’t already the perfect way to spend my Saturday, I was able to stuff my face with Mexican food and Russell could stuff his with pulled pork goodness. We left feeling like slightly drunk piggys!
Thanks for inviting me Gin Festival. I can’t wait for you to return next year!
*** I was given two wristbands in return of an honest review. All views are my own ***