I was out and about at the weekend at the Gin Lounge’s first ever stand alone Festival at the Assembly Rooms. With the lovely company of the Social Bitches and Sharon from Bite Magazine, there really wasn’t a better way to spend a Saturday.
The Gin Lounge grew out of founder, Amanda’s Ludlow’s passion for gin and her desire to educate people about the nation’s favourite tipple.
There were certainly lots of gin lovers enjoying the various gins on offer in the splendour of the Assembly Rooms, with their spectacular chandeliers. Just some of the gins on offer included: Arbikie (vodka and gins); Islay Gin, Cotswold Gin, Lakes Gin, Bathtub, Kokoro, IWSC, and Bouteiuqe-y Gin, to name but a few. And my favourites were the Perth Gin and Arbikie Haar Wheat Vodka, which is distilled from Zulu Wheat grown on the ‘Black Laws’ field on the Arbikie estate producing an incredibly smooth vodka with hints of caramel.
Leading beverage company, Fentimans, was on hand to supply the mixers for the event, and whilst it was fun to nose and taste some of the gins on their own, in the spirit of responsible drinking, I experimented with a few of the mixers on offer including the Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water, Valencian Orange Tonic Water and Rose Lemonade, which is by far my favourite mixer, drank with gin or even on its own.
We even took time out to sample one of the masterclasses on offer and learnt from Alasdair from Arbikie Gin who took us on a discovery of the whole field to bottle process, and their unique seaside twist the the use of local and even home farmed botanicals.
The Gin Lounge was only on for one day but let’s hope they return again next year. From the crowd in the room, there certainly seemed to be an appetite to discover more about small batch gins. Keep your eye on the website and social media for future dates.