As you may or may not know, Glasgow Gin Club had it’s very first Glasgow event on Friday (June 6th) at The Hidden Lane Tearoom. It certainly would have taken a great deal of skill to avoid this information if you are friends, work colleagues or mere Facebook acquaintances of any of the three of us.
Our aim for the night was always simple – bring really good Gin to the people, have a good old chat about the stuff and just have fun. There are SO many mind blowingly good Gins out there that people don’t know about, and it was almost criminal not to do something about it. I guess we knew (or should I say hoped) that no matter what happened along the way, as long as we had enough great Gin and really good tonic on the night, plus a half tonne of ice shards we could keep a tearoom full of Gin fans happy.
After 6 weeks of; planning event format, confirming Gin’s, designing membership cards, matching garnishes, securing a venue, changing original event format, roping in friends, calling in favours and sourcing 100 miniature spoons for Gin jelly with 24 hours to spare – Gin Club was almost ready to open it’s doors for the very first time.
The Gin gods were definitely on our side on Friday night – the sun continued to beat down as the evening drew in and although for once we were not celebrating Gin o’clock ourselves, it was the ultimate G&T weather. The Tearoom doors opened at 7.30pm with the event set to kick off just after 8pm and as membership card no. 4 was handed out at around 7.35pm (the founders being numbers 1,2 and 3 and Snoop Dogg 213 – see instagram) Glasgow Gin Club became official.
Tables were set with tasting cards alongside the corresponding bottles and in keeping with the vein of our amazingly unique venue, it seemed only fitting that we used some empty bottles from our personal collection to hold one or two flowers – let’s just say Stuart had a busy week to ensure we had enough Gin Club vases.
Ok, so details…..what Gin’s did we actually serve at Gin Club? The running order (all served with Fever-Tree Indian tonic water);
(i) London No.3 Dry Gin – a traditional London Dry Gin created with 6 botanicals in copper pot stills – garnished with a slice of lime.
(ii) The Botanist – hails from Islay and contains 31 botanicals in total – 22 are foraged on the island – served with a slice of lemon and sprig of thyme.
Interlude – Gin and Elderflower Jelly
(iii) Strathearn Heather Rose – the combination of Rose and Heather produce this uniquely delicate, floral Gin – no garnish just tonic.
(iv) Caorunn – 6 traditional and 5 celtic make up the 11 botanicals in Caorunn, one of which – the Rowan Berry gives the Gin it’s name – delivered with a slice of red apple in the glass.
To Finish – Gin and Tonic Sorbet courtesy of Mad Chef
The lovely Craig Johnston kindly agreed to come along and drop some serious tunes as the soundtrack to our evening (promised payment in Gin of course) and who didn’t enjoy a bit of The Temptations, Chrvches or the Jurassic Park theme tune while sipping on their Gin and Juice? Bridget from the Hidden Lane Tearoom was also on hand to serve some of their own delicious baked treats. Gin, Jelly, Cake, Sorbet and Sunshine – think we covered almost all bases.
Now, 5 days after Event No. 1, we can confirm that we served over 200 G&T’s to a little over 50 Gin Clubber’s – a number that we’re still overwhelmed by. As a result Gin fever has well and truly hit Gin Club HQ – Who are we kidding? We’ve always had it. But the ideas for what comes next are certainly mounting up.
Thanks again to absolutely everyone who came along (both under order and free will) and helped us through the Gin and 120 bottles of tonic. We hope that a few of you may be willing to do it again…?
Photography by Ritchie Patton