IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE GIN IN EPSOM AND EWELL
Posted by Stella Lang on 19 Feb 2020
A few decades ago gin was considered rather old-fashioned and not particularly exciting. Maybe your grandparents drank it or aunt Betty down the road enjoyed the occasional, or, not so occasional, gin and tonic. And then on the other side of the spectrum—as made famous by James Bond and his “shaken not stirred” phrase— it was deemed extremely sophisticated, mixed with vermouth, and served up in 5-star hotel bars around the world as the classic Martini.
Fast forward to 2020 and gin is all the rage. Some people refer to it as the gin revival or ginaissance. Call it what you want, but one thing is for sure, over the last decade Britain has fallen head over hills in love with this juniper-based drink.
According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WTSA), in the year to March 2019, a staggering 76 million bottles of gin was sold, breaking all previous records amounting to sales worth over £3 billion.
Such is gin’s popularity that in 2017 it was added to the basket of goods monitored by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to calculate inflation.
And, you don’t have to look far to see evidence of the nation’s fascination with gin as I recently discovered at the Epsom And Ewell Gin and Rum Evening in early February.
These types of events are becoming ever more popular and it is not difficult to see why. They are not just about mixing great cocktails with gin and rum, but they are great get-togethers as well.
Hosted in Bourne Hall, Ewell, there was certainly no shortage of inspiration with over 20 exhibitors displaying their finest produce. Each guest received a glass upon arrival and could choose any cocktail on offer as a free welcome drink. Gin and rum drinks were available to purchase by the glass throughout the evening.
I was really surprised how well attended this event was. With a variety of cheese and meat platters available to purchase from local caterers, Picky Bits, alongside fantastic music from Jazz and The Tonics, the atmosphere was buzzing.
One thing that stood out from all the exhibitors is their passion for their products. It certainly made for a great educational evening, too. Who knew Shimmering Gin (from Hogmoor Distillery) was a thing? Or, that alcohol and ice-cream can make your taste buds so happy? However, my favourite story from the evening is that gin brand, Blue Thorn, was founded in aid of charity to which they donate 25% of their profits. How noble.
The highlight of my evening was discovering that Silent Pool was also exhibiting at the event. Their Distillery sits on the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills and has been one of my favourite gin brands for quite some time. Of course, my love for this gin has nothing to do with their beautifully decorated bottles… No surprise then that my favourite drink of the evening was their Albury Winter Gin mixed with ginger ale. I went back for seconds!
Traditionally, tonic is the mixer of choice when it comes to gin, but almost a third of gin served are now mixed with something other than tonic, up from 16% only four years ago according to Kantar Worldpanel. It just shows you how versatile this category of spirits is—no wonder it is gaining more fans by the day.
If you have missed the recent Gin Evening hosted by the team from www.surreyfoodfestivals.co.uk fear not as there are two more Gin and Rum Evenings coming up in 2020. Grab your diaries and make a note of these two events for which you can already purchase tickets:
Redhill Gin and Rum Evening held at the Harlequin Theatre and Cinema in Redhill on Friday, 6th March 2020 from 18.30 – 23.00.
Find out more about our fab array of distillers – fb.me/redhillginandrum
To buy tickets, visit the website here.
Epsom and Ewell Gin and Rum Evening held at Bourne Hall on Friday, 27th of November 2020 from 18.30 – 23.00
Find out more about our fab array of distillers – fb.me/epsomewellginandrum
To buy tickets, visit the website here.