GYM & TONEIC

The Gin Society Festival

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All praise the superior spirit… gin! Gin gods, goddesses and worshipers came together to show, share and sample the good stuff in Manchester once again this weekend, at the first Gin Society Festival, and of course as a gindisciple ever keen to know and learn more I attended mass.

This being the second gin festival I’ve attended in the city, it was hosted at another historic and beautifully iconic landmark, Manchester Cathedral, the perfect place for worship and gin-appreciation!

The festival was held over two days, 2 & 3 September, I went to the evening session on Saturday (the day before my Birthday!) with my gin guzzling gals to celebrate turning 30 +2, all my Birthday wishes come true…

On arrival we were greeted with a goblet and gin guide, which listed over 70 gins to try from producers throughout the UK and Europe. We then purchased our drink tokens, which cost a very reasonable £5 per drink. Once again I had that liver capacity dilemma… I couldn’t try them all, so I flicked through the guide and selected gins I liked the sound of that I hadn’t sampled before. I have to say, I was a little disappointed to hear they had run out of stock of the first two gins I wanted to try, Ginvinity and 5th Fire – Red Fruits… opening the festival by losing my Ginvinity would’ve been the perfect way to start, but I guess lots of other gin-lovers had the same idea 😉

Gins I supped included…

Warner Edwards – Rhubarb an English fruit gin that I was told was a good substitute for the two gins I initially picked that I couldn’t sample. This gin combines Harrington Dry Gin with a rhubarb infusion, rhubarb that was originally grown in the gardens of Queen Victoria’s estate in the 1800’s! I drank this with ginger ale instead of tonic, as rhubarb and ginger go together perfectly, and was very impressed.

Manchester Gin a gin that’s produced in Chorlton, South Manchester (where I lived for a good while). Another relatively new gin on Manchester’s scene, made by a couple that met and fell in love over a gin and tonic! I loved the love story as much as I liked the sound of the botanicals, Dandelion and Burdock Root. I supped it with orange and rosemary garnish and was very impressed indeed; Manchester’s proving to be a great city for good times and great gins!

Batch gin from Burnley. I chose to try this as Burnley is just up’th road from my hometown of Ramsbottom, also because my nephew Alfie is the biggest Burnley FC fan. This gin contains nutmeg, frankincense and myrrh giving it a Christmassy flavour. Contrary to the flavour, the garnishes you sup it with give it a summery twist… lime and strawberry! I was very impressed with this lovely Lancashire liquor; I highly recommend giving it a try.

Sharish Blue Magic produced in Portugal. This fruit gin gets its colour from the blue pea flower, other botanicals include strawberry, cinnamon, lemon peel, ginger and liquorice. The magic happens when you pour on the tonic and the gin turns from blue to pink! Not only does this gin look lush, it tastes it too… best served with a lime garnish.

Good time Gin Guzzling Gals
Good times with my gin guzzling gals

I had a fab night with fabulous friends… supping lots of lush gins most definitely took the edge off my increasing age!

For a first festival it was really good, stunning location and lots of great gins to be sampled… only feedback from me would be, to have more stock (no running out!) and have a wider variety of food on offer… however with gin domination showing no signs of slowing, I’m sure it’ll be bigger and even better next year!

Find out more about The Gin Society festival and follow them on social Facebook and Twitter.

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Gin tasting World Record – sign me up!

Photo by Nic Taylor

My second gin jaunt of 2016 was to take part in a gin tasting Guinness World Records attempt – how cool is that! No sooner than I’d heard whispers (been tagged a hundred times in a Facebook post) about the gin tasting record attempt, happening at The Botanist bar chain, I was in touch to ask for an invite.

Me being me (cheeky), I had to try my luck and ask to be involved, I couldn’t not! Not every day you get to be part of something like this, and I’m no stranger to setting Guinness World Records, this being the second title to my name, not one to gloat *cough*, I’ll share that story another time.

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The Botanist (New World Trading Company), have a number of record titles under their belt too. For ale tasting and having the largest collection of rums commercially available, but this was for gin, glorious gin. They drank their way into the record books once again, by hosting the world’s biggest gin-tasting night to celebrate their new perfect serve gin list. The attempt saw 100 people at each of the nine sites, from London to Glasgow try three gins from sponsors – Tanqueray 10, Whitley Neill and Caorunn.

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My plus one, fellow gin-fanatic and fashion blogger, Dawn, and I propped-up the Deansgate bar – taking the attempt and tasting with utmost seriousness of course (before the celebrations kicked in!). Every tasting is an education – new gins tried and tested, learning about the botanicals and most fitting accompaniments (increasing my gin-snobbery). My favourite on the night was Caorunn, served with tonic and apple slices – delish!

Following the attempt a celebratory party was thrown, which we were more than happy to get involved with, loving the live music, nibbles, gin cocktails, and yet more gin tasting… we had a ball!

Feedback from gin jaunt number two – awesome night, awesome atmosphere, awesome company, awesome!

In case you wondered…
The other Guinness World Records title I have to my name is for the most mechanical energy produced by pedalling on static bicycles in one hour – 4,821.40 watts! Which I coordinated and took part in, alongside 120 awesome women for British Cycling’s Breeze – proud!

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