Firstly, can I just start by apologising for typing this later than expected, we at Gin Club like the blog posts going out at 3pm on a Wednesday, which according to the Google Machine is the best time to post anything to Social Media. I general find that it isn’t the timing that causes a difference but more the content. Cake and Gin seem to do better than anything else so we are winning this race already.
Last week we had a double bill of Gin Club, in that we ran two events. The first was our July dedicated Brand event and was all about No.3 London Dry Gin. Anyone reading this regularly (this is where I question you all for reading these ramblings) will know that we have worked with No.3 London and several occasions. It was featured at our first Gin Club then again at our 1st Birthday Party and it was also the first time we did a dedicated Gin free event.
This time round though we teamed up with a new Eyewear store (store is very American I apologise) called IOLLA Eyewear, which is in deepest darkest Finnieston. At first I had no Idea what an Eyewear store was, I kept calling it an opticians and saying “look at these glasses” where I was corrected and then eventually started saying eyewear. I am now a convert to this shop though; they even found glasses for my football shaped head and Macdonald cheeks.
Amanda Baxter from Berry Brothers & Rudd came up from London to give the 30 odd guests a brand masterclass on No.3 London. Going through the history of Gin, Gin in London, the Berry Bros & Rudd Brand then specialising in on what makes up what we regard as one of the best Cocktail Gins on the market No.3 London Dry Gin.
In between all these talks, Stuart and I were handing out classic G&T’s, then neat tastes (cracking jokes back glasses for drinks and putting glasses next to reading glasses – classic dad humour), an alternative G&T which was Lemon Grass and Coriander, then to break up the Gin madness we served old fashioned Gin Fizz cocktails.
I really want to say thanks to Amanda, Claire, the folks at IOLLA Eyewear, the guests, Stella the dog and Betty and Bee for making it a great night with us. #IOLLAxNo.3
Then on Friday the 31st July (yes summer has officially ended – not that it began) we hosted our regular end of the month Gin Club event in the Hidden Lane Tea Room.
So July has been a wet month and something we have notice has really affected Gin Club goers, it seems not many people want to do much when it’s miserable outside and you never know if it’s going to rain. But we did get a fair few of you out to drink the best spirit on the planet.
We decided to shake things up a bit this month and move the bar to front room in the Tea Room which I can safely say is the smartest thing we have done. It even meant people sneaky neat tastes for those waiting for the loo.
Our first Gin for the evening (remember these come in no form of order you can bring the GinMe to the bar and chose anyone) was Shetland Reel. I can safely say I was thrilled to be featuring this Gin and have Stuart the master distiller there to chat about it. I have been trying to get Shetland Reel at Gin Club all year and finally it arrived.
Shetland Reel comes from Unst, which is part of the Shetland Islands. The Shetland Distillery Company was created by four people sharing a passion for producing top quality products in local communities. Frank / Debbie Strang and Stuart / Wilma Nickerson. The gin uses 8 botanicals including locally grown apple mint. On the nose there is a strong hit of Juniper and coriander, with fresh floral notes. To try it neat it is dry with a juniper spine and a clean dry bite. This then becomes smoother and sweeter.
The more you drink the fruitiness builds making it a wonderful Gin, a truly loved product with of course a decent solid Juniper taste (it is a Gin)
Along with neat serves (on the sly) we intended on doing G&T’s with Fever Tree and Raspberry, but Stuart convinced us to try Kiwi fruit. No surprises he was right.
Our second Gin for the night (which technically isn’t a Gin) was Minus 33. Minus 33 is crafted by scientist at the Locabev Laboratory in Rosyth and started out in the labs at Edinburgh Uni. Yes this Gin is really made in a lab. Minus 33 comes in at 33% so technically does not qualify as a London Dry Gin but It is a Juniper distilled spirit (which is also one of their taglines).
After 3 years and 539 test tubes of experimentation Locabev decided that the optimum strength for a really smooth spirit was 33%. This also makes it the perfect drink for those on a diet as that makes it just 46 calories per serve.
To taste Minus 33 it is fresh and floral with hints of juniper, citrus, lavender, elderflower and angelica. For the serve we were going to be using lemon and coriander but again the distiller Sam convinced us otherwise and we used dried Hibiscus. Sam even used our old bar space to create a small lab which he served Minus 33 cocktails in beakers.
Then we had Diplôme. Diplôme is created in Dijon and has been created roughly the same way since 1945; however the recipe was perfected during WW2. After the end of the war, Diplôme Dry Gin became the official gin for the American Army stationed throughout Europe.
Using botanicals sourced from Europe and Morocco, Diplôme Dry Gin is made up of; Juniper (it is a Gin), coriander, whole lemons, orange peel, angelica, saffron, orris root and fennel seed.
On the nose of Diplôme gives a slight smell of cherry trees and cloves, you also get the Juniper and Coriander.
To taste you get the natural hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) but it also has zesty citrus fruit, slightly nutty and possibly lavender. I have heard people say it almost feels oily. I haven’t got that however I stress that we at Gin Club tend not to be wearing Tweed waist coats, while doing tastings and try to thing how the Gin will work and how it will be enjoyed. Which we served as a classic G&T with Fever Tree, garnished with Grapefruit
Our last Gin for the month was Sipsmith. Sipsmiths is an old fav of ours which we would rave about all day if we could. Sipsmith’s was launched by Sam Galsworthy, Fairfax Hall and Jared Brown to pursue their passion for handmade spirits.
Sipsmith is made using ten botanicals: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.
Each botanical plays its part however a few liquorice, coriander and angelica play distinctive roles. To taste Sipsmith has strong notes of juniper but there are also definite citrus notes and a depth to the liquid that lingers.
Thanks to all of you for braving the weather and coming along.
The next one is the 28th August. Get your tickets from Ticketweb.