At Christmas I entered a competition to do with gin, there were many many entrants on Twitter and wasn’t expecting to win, but I did! Not only did I win an awesome Gin Advent Calendar, I also won tickets to a magical thing called the Gin Journey.
Set up by Leon Dalloway in 2013 the Gin Journey covers a number of bars in East London, with a different gin at each bar. I am a huge gin fan, I know quite a lot about my favourite drink. Alcoholic you may think, but gin to me is like wine to some. I think gin is very interesting and get excited to try it in different ways and of course trying new gins, just as some may enjoy their wines! So I was rather excited to head to London, meet up with one of my favourite chums and drink the city dry…
So here is where my gin journey begins and also my frustrations of dimly lit bars in London… Not blogger friendly at all! Things kicked off at the Peg & Patriot, Patriot Square. A recent favourite of mine, Martin Millers was the feature gin of this bar. Everyone enjoyed a People’s Republic – Banana Millers, pickled strawberry & radish tonic. Due to me mentioning my issues with cucumber, I didn’t receive this cocktail, I had a lovely vanilla offering from the Bull Dog Gin Co. Although I hadn’t realised Martin Millers had cucumber in it- but I can eat pickles, so it must just be the raw that I can’t cope with- hence why you won’t catch me putting cucumber in my gin! I did try a little bit of my friend Charlie’s cocktail, but actually preferred my alternative cocktail here #winning!
Next up we headed to 46 & Mercy, Spitalfields, whilst this place was dimly lit, I did really like the vibe here. Very relaxed and big sofas and cushions to sit on. Although we sat on a table as it was time for lunch. Lunch did not disappoint either, I had the skillet beef hash, which had a wonderfully spicy sauce to accompany it. Whilst Charlie had the chicken and waffles, she was very quiet during the eating of this, so I assumed she too enjoyed her food! The cocktail to accompany our food contained Beefeater 24 and was wonderfully refreshing, I could’ve drunk many more. This was the Montford & Sons- Beefeater Gin, Kamm and sons, sugar syrup, lemon juice, 3 barspoons of bergamot and grapefruit sherbet, top soda, serve tall and garnish with a mint sprig, and a grapefruit slice garnish.
Next up was my favourite part of the trip! We headed to the East London Liquor Company, Victoria Park. Not only were we going to a distillery, we were trying a gin I hadn’t tried before! Here we got a whistle stop tour through the distilling process from our wonderful gin guardian Kate (Cocktail Kate). And we tried out a good old G&T with East London Liquor Co London Dry Gin, couple with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic (my favourite tonic ever). Hands down my favourite gin of the day, I also won a bottle, which I must admit has almost disappeared…
Next up Kate and the gin bus (I really should’ve mentioned already that we were whisked to our destinations by bus!) to the Worship Street Whistling Shop, Old Street. Here it was time for one of London’s revolutionary gins, the gin that changed modern distilling laws for the better. This is of course, Sipsmith. We were treated to a twist on the Negroni, with a cocktail called Prudence- Sipsmith London Dry, house blended vermouth- oak aged, Amaro Ciacioro, Bob’s Abbott’s Bitters, soda. Sadly my least favourite drink for me, just too much cinnamon for me, it tasted like a Starbucks Christmas drink- bleh- but it was very pretty!
Last up the gin bus took us to Callooh Callay, Shoreditch. Here we were in London when bosh, Kate brings out a NORTHERN gin (as expected I was the only one to cheer for the north here). Not only is this a northern gin, Thomas Dakin Gin’s chief distiller is a woman, very very rare in the gin world and this must be celebrated. My favourite cocktail of the day, this was The Thomas St. Way- Thomas Dakin Gin, Maraschino, grapefruit juice, lime, black pepper and dandelion and burdock bitters. I loved the spicy and sharp flavours of this drink. Many didn’t but, this one, was the one for me! Can we just get these bad boys made in Manchester now please?
Whilst I didn’t pay for my Gin Journey experience, I loved it and I wanted to share something fun you could do on a Saturday (or weekday evening) in London, but now also Manchester and Liverpool! Whilst I found myself already knowing a lot about gin (sorry I am a gin geek) I enjoyed finding new bars to go to in London as well as trying a new gin and some wonderful cocktails. All details for future Gin Journies are on their website.
I’d just like to say thank you to Leon and Kate for my amazing prize and running an amazing day 🙂
Are you a fellow gin snob? Would you be up for a gin journey? Let me know in the comments.