Blog: Making the most of World Gin Day

Who thinks of these things? A worldwide celebration of gin, giving free rein to people like me to head out to the countryside to taste more than 20 craft gins at 11am on a Saturday morning. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Gin is enjoying something of a renaissance. Every food fair I attend sees an increasing number of specialist local gins flavoured with all manner of botanicals, herbs and spices – a far cry from your straightforward Gordon’s (of which admittedly I am still a fan) and taking on subtle local flavours and taste combinations. Gin is no longer the preserve of the middle-aged, younger people are now more likely to drink gin than the over 40s. It is anticipated that gin sales will top £1.3bn in the UK by 2020.

The superb Maxey’s Farm Shop (a GFC member) hosted this tasting event and showcased a number of local and regional gins including Warner Edwards, Pinkster, Burleighs, Redsmiths, Sibling and Sovereign.

Redsmiths London Dry Gin is distilled in Nottingham, at the first gin distillery to open in the city for over 150 years. It is very small-batch gin and has a distinctive citrus taste. An order has been placed and a visit to the distillery is planned, purely in the interests of bringing Great Food Club members new and exciting local products, you understand.

Other gins on offer included Warner Edwards’ traditional Dry, Elderflower and Rhubarb gins, which are distilled in Northamptonshire and made with citrus and ginger, hand-picked elderflowers and rhubarb originally from the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Also present was award-winning Sloe Motion gins from north Yorkshire; dry and barrel-aged gin from the Cotswolds using bay lavender and lime; Two Birds gin from Leicestershire (a bottle of which – the Old Tom Gin – made it home); and Burleighs Export and Dry Gin, also from Leicestershire. Sovereign Spirits from Clipstone, Mansfield featured summery apple and blackberry and gooseberry and elderflower gin liqueurs.

Things have come a long way since your traditional G&T. The range and subtlety of the flavours and the craftsmanship on display from these small distillers is really quite astonishing and well worth spending a bit of time and effort seeking out. Not only that, my drinks cabinet is already stocked for Christmas, if they last that long.

Abby Brennan
The author:

Abby lives in Radcliffe on Trent with her family and several chickens. She is a former restaurant owner and now mentors food business start-ups, writes recipes, and blogs at The Fishwife's Kitchen.