World Gin Day 2015: celebrate with juniper this June
The best gin festivals, tastings and competitions on offer for ginthusiasts
If you’re a frequenter of bars you can’t have failed to notice the recent ginaissance. That’s right, the gin renaissance. Once a spirit dismissed as ‘mother’s ruin’, and besmirched as the cause of maudlin drunken self-pity, gin is now the trendiest drink in town, with craft distilleries and specialist bars vying for an ice and slice of the action. Saturday 13 June sees the seventh World Gin Day, with ginthusiasts across the country joining to celebrate the wonder of the juniper beverage.
June sees several festivals devoted to the spirit. In London the Gin Foundry host the biggest UK gin dedicated festival, Junipalooza. Keen to avoid the ‘ boring, bland trestle table infested affairs’ that drink shows can apparently be, Junipalooza boasts immersive installations that combine botanicals, music, food and gin. Those wanting to gain ginpert status can take part in masterclasses, including The Art of the Gin and Tonic and a Botanical Odyssey of Gin. There is a whole host of UK gins in attendance, as well as ginsmiths from Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the US.
In Newcastle and Norwich, the Gin Festival offers over 80 of the UK's finest gins alongside masterclasses from industry experts and live music, while the Scottish Juniper Festival in Edinburgh showcases Scottish gins as well as those distilled further field. Guests can visit the onsite Pickerings Gin Distillery , browse fashion boutiques and take part in Spiritual Sessions including a Gin Cocktail School and The Great Tonic Debate, a taste challenge to discover which T makes the best G.
Want to get to grips with the science behind the spirit? The National Space Centre and Glasgow Science Festival host events revealing how botanicals are fundamental to flavour, obviously to make it a legitimate science experiment extensive tastings will be required.
Gin lovers who like their drinks with a side of competition can head to the first round of the Graphic Gin Off. Eight gins brands compete in a battle of the bottle to see who can craft the best cocktail. Even if you can’t make the contest, visit Graphic to marvel at their 300 plus strong gin gantry. They're a ginspiration to us all.
World Gin Day, Sat 13 Jun. Remember: life is too short for single gins.