When I turned 18, it was only natural to get my hands on every drink I could find. But gin and I were not friends. Oh no, the taste was vile! But 5 years later I realised that it was cheap gin and ordinary tonic that I wasn’t a fan of, so I’m partial to a Gordon’s and Elderflower on a weekend. For the first time ever, the Gin Festival hit my hometown and I was offered a press ticket. A night of tasting gins from around the world? I’m in!
The Peterborough Gin Festival was held last weekend in Peterborough Cathedral (fun fact: I went to the school that was linked to the Cathedral for sixth form so I’ve spent a lot of time in there). I’m going to be honest, drinking gin opposite Katharine of Aragon’s grave isn’t how I thought I’d ever spend a Friday night!
Upon arrival, I was handed by own gin goblet and a guide to all the gins on offer. The gin festival uses a cashless system, with each drink costing one token (£5 = 1 token). More expensive than a night out in your local pub, but with so many different gins on offer it would be a waste not to test them out.
I tried two different G&Ts and a gin cocktail, as well as a little sample of another. Bear in mind I’m a gin lover, but not a tonic lover, so this was an experience for me. At Bar C (non-British), I found myself with a fruity gin: the Puerto de Indias Strawberry Gin with Fevertree elderflower tonic and and strawberry garnish. I love elderflower tonic, and this was blooming lush! The longer the gin sat, the more of the strawberry flavouring from the garnish infused the G&T and it was delicious. I could’ve drank this all night.
Next up, after some salt and pepper fries from one of three fast food outlets in the cathedral (I so wish I hadn’t eaten before I went to the gin festival), I picked up a local drink: Pinkster Gin with Indian Tonic and a raspberry garnish. I’ve actually had this before, and whilst I probably should’ve tried something new, I knew that I would enjoy this one.
The final drink I had was the Fuddy Daisy cocktail. Each cocktail is 2 tokens, and this particular one contained Pinkster Gin alongside prosecco, creme de framboise and lemon juice. This was a very strong cocktail and well and truly finished me off!
If you’re sick of the gin, or just fancy something a little different, the tuck shop provides a whole host of other drinks and a few snacks. Popcorn anyone? And if you’re looking for keepsakes, there’s always a trip to the bottle shop. There was some amazing merchandise which I’m seriously regretting not picking up!
Whilst £16 a ticket isn’t a cheap night, the gin festival is a great experience if you’re a gin lover. There’s definitely going to be a festival near you, so keep an eye out on the website for your local gin celebration! Now excuse me whilst I pour myself a G&T and curl up to watch I’m A Celebrity!