Last weekend Gin Festival was in Brighton and I was invited along to see what all the fuss was about! I’m a MASSIVE Gin lover so was super excited to attend and was not disappointed! Absolutely fantastic evening of drinking, socialising, learning about new gins and live music! I know for a fact when it next returns to Brighton I shall be there!
Obviously the whole event revolves around alcohol so it’s strictly over 18’s only (and you may be asked for id)
What is Gin Festival?
Gin Festival was created back in 2012 by co-founders and husband & wife duo Jym & Marie. Instead of the generic “Gin Tasting” sessions a lot of places currently run, Jym & Marie were looking for more so that’s when Gin Festival was created! It’s now become a phenomenon and attracts hundreds of gin connoisseur’s and gin novices all around the UK.
Not only do you get to try a HUGE variety of different gins, you also get to speak with gin industry experts, taste some delicious food and meet fellow gin lovers!
On arrival you are handed your very own Gin Festival Copa Balloon Glass (mine is currently sitting in my kitchen cupboard which I will be utilising tonight for a cheeky gin at home) and a gin brochure well bible is how I like to describe it which tells you all about the gins at the festival.
The festival itself is set up in zones and certain bars are numbered so it corresponds with the book you are given which makes navigating around so easy. As there are so many different bars I didn’t experience any long queues which was great.
The bars operate a “token system” you must purchase tokens from the token stall (card or cash) tokens are £5 each and that gets you a gin measure, garnish and tonic! Or for 2 tokens you can get a very tasty cocktail from the cocktail bar.
I tried to keep track of all of the gins I had tasted but after so many I kind of forgot my own name so the below are the ones I can remember and were my faves!
Every gin and tonic I tried was super tasty and all of the bar staff and brands were amazingly friendly and helpful, so if you’re a Gin newbie just ask for recommendations from the bar! But don’t do what I did when you get your measure of Gin and neck it before they add the tonic! haha
Brighton Gin 40% // Garnish: Orange // Pairs Best With: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic (Brighton)
I couldn’t go to the Brighton Gin Festival and NOT try the Brighton Gin! It was delicious and I personally think as I live in Brighton I should be given a lifetime supply! Surely that’s fair . . . also since this event I have actually had the Brighton Gin again in a cocktail! If you attend a Gin Festival and your town has a local gin, make sure you try it.
Pinkster 37.5% // Garnish: Mint & Raspberry // Pairs Best With: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic (Cambridge)
This was the first Gin I tried! I went up to the stalls where brands were giving out testers and gave the Pinkster a go! The mint garnish added a really nice taste to it so I went straight down to the bar and got me some! We took suggestions from the bar staff as to which tonics to have, but you can choose any!
JJ Whitley Elderflower Gin 38.6% // Garnish: Lemon // Pairs Best With: Fever-Tree Indian Tonic (Liverpool)
THIS WAS OH SO AMAZZINGGG! I am a HUGE fan of Elderflower so had to try this! The Fever-Tree Indian Tonic is suggested with this. but I went for the Elderflower tonic! Double Elderflower, I know MADNESS! I could have drunk this all night!
Drunken Tulip Cocktail // Pink 47 Gin 47%, Prosecco, Pomegranate Juice, Elderflower Cordial & Lemon Juice (Kent)
This particular drink was from the cocktail section of the festival and cost 2 tokens (£10.00) I must say it was the highlight of the evening! It tasted absolutely amazing! And was great to chat to the bartender and watch him “shake up” the cocktail in front of you!
At 11pm when the festival was closing and after I had more than enough Gin! I went over to the “Off License” section and may have purchased myself a cheeky bottle of Elderflower gin (wink face)
It was the Sovereign Spirits Elderflower & Gooseberry Gin Liqueur I purchased which was £18.50 for 75cl I never tried it on the night but sounds incredible! You can purchase this online from Gin Festival along with a huge selection of other gins – click here. You can also buy Gin Festival merchandise, t-shirts, bags, candles, jams, plaques all gin related!
Be sure to purchase tickets as soon as you can as the Brighton weekend was fully booked in a matter of days! Very popular and SO worth it!