One Square at the Sheraton has not only got its own gin but now also its own gin tasting format: Ginnasium. We went along and learnt a thing or two (and had a lot of fun while we were at it).
In the summer, we went to a gin journey at 56North. It was great: we tried nine very different gins and several interesting tonics. That tasting comes with afternoon tea and is set up for large groups. One Square takes a different tack.
Group sizes are kept to no more than eight and you try four gins in full measures. We started with the One Square gin while Spanish Scott, our guide to the wonderful world of gin, taught us how to taste gin. You start with the plain spirit then add tonic and garnishes. One Square works well with lemon and thyme, and mixes well with Fevertree standard tonic. I was impressed at how sippable One Square gin was. It’d make a very nice Martini base: dry with some citrus and very clean.
We were sitting (or standing in my case – I had a bad back. Did you know that gin is an analgesic?*) at a tall table. Scott gave us a very hands-on introduction to what goes into gin, what the most popular types are, and how it is made, as well as a thorough discussion about the gins we tried, their garnishes and the different tonics available.
Christopher and I both fell for the 1724 tonic. It has tiny, slow bubbles and a subtle flavour that really lets the gin do its own thing. We also tried Fevertree Mediterranean, one I really enjoy on its own, and Walter Gregor’s tonic. They’re all good in their own ways but some, like the Meditteranean, needs a particular kind of gin. 1724 doesn’t.
It wasn’t my first gin tasting and I am a bit of a know-it-all so whenever Scott said ‘do you know…?’ and I did I would nod or put my hand up. I wish I could stop myself. I’m too old to need gold stars! Scott took it in good humour. He was very knowledgeable and good at gauging his audience. When we all nodded cheerfully to the question ‘Have you tried The Botanist?’, he swapped that out for an Arbikie gin that we hadn’t tried.
As well as learning about different types of gin, we learned about the production. I liked that Scott recommended we visit Edinburgh Gin’s Heads & Tails we we hadn’t already as they have working stills on show. We bonded with our fellow students and were quite excited when, at the end, we got to wax the top of our own mini of One Square Gin to take home. It takes technique, you know, waxing. When it was all over, we scattered into the night, some on their way to dinner, Christopher and I looking for another tall bar to hang at.
It was a really good afternoon. I can think of few nicer ways to spend an afternoon than sitting in a nice environment, sipping gin and learning something about how your favourite spirit it made.
* Not strictly speaking true, no more than it is true for all spirits, anyway. Drink responsibly.
Tastings take place throughout the day at the weekend and are £35 per person. Remember to book!
Caroline attended the gin tasting on the invitation of One Square.