Newsletter – How To Make Your Own Autumn Themed Drinks!

Newsletter – Friday 11th October

Happy Friday!

Well here we are! The definite change in the air is signalling cosier times. I love Autumn. I love all that stuff, the spicy drinks, the big jumpers, the naps inside on a cold day. And, hey! What a great opportunity to wrap up and get inside into the cool, crisp air! To take a dawdle somewhere beautiful, to watch the leaves cycle through their gorgeous array of colours before spinning down to land on the ground, ready for boots to come wading through the rustle piles.

How was Sheffield? I hope that you had a good time. How did the team treat you? Was there anything that you were surprised to see? Anything that you weren’t expecting?

Now then, this is the point where I would normally, tell you where we are today and give you a little history of the venue and the area. Well, today’s a little different as we have a small gap in the festivals. Yes, the team does need to take a little rest sometimes! So for the next 3 weeks we’ve got a little less to say in the newsletter.

And what day is it today? Well there are a few different options but they’re all rather difficult to relate to gin or rum! So, let’s do something completely different and look at some easy to make Autumn themed drinks:

Rum and Hot Chocolate – It doesn’t get easier than this. Put a little spiced rum in your hot chocolate. It is the ultimate in cosy comfort and it’s absolutely delicious.

Apple Cider Mojito – This is a lovely Autumn Twist on a summer classic! Fill 2 glasses with ice. Add the juice of half a lemon to each glass. Add rum, then top fill with apple cider. Top with soda stir then finish with mint, thyme and a slice of apple.

Hot Buttered Rum – I stumbled across this recipe today. What an incredibly indulgent thing it is! Firstly, you need to make the rum batter. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in some brown sugar and heat until it has been dissolved. Then, remove from the heat and add cinnamon, orange zest, ground clove and nutmeg, vanilla icecream and salt. Oohlala! Once you’ve got your batter, it’s time to make the drink! Add the rum and hot buttered rum batter to a mug, fill with hot water and wait for batter to melt, stir and add a cinnamon stick.

So, there we go! If you like these then you crack on and do some research. There are so many fantastic recipes around for cocktails. It’s a great time of year too for a little more indulgence so go on, treat yourself!

Have a great weekend!

Bernie and G&R

 

Shelly’s Rumbutt – Peanut butter flavour rum based spirit drink

Shellys Rumbutt is exactly what it says in the bottle. This is incredible refreshing, seeing as there has been issues in the spirits industry with drinks making out they’re something that they’re not, such as gins when actually liqueurs. My stance is that I am up for experimentation, but there should be a sense of transparency. Drinks should be labelled with what they are, rather than playing on the popularity of a spirit, when technically it’s not that.

Shellys are keeping it simple. Their Rumbutt is clearly labelled as ‘Peanut butter flavour rum based spirit drink’. Although this may sound like a mouth full, it is the correct label. As, with the spirit being 29% ABV, it’s under the amount to qualify as a rum, but rather high for a liqueur, which normally sits around the 20-22% range. It’s essentially bridging the boundary between the two types of drink. By doing this, they have created a space free fro the rules and regulations of existing spirits. And, where anything goes when it comes to flavour. So, Rumbutt is a great example of the potential for experimentation in spirits.

Shellys Rumbutt

On the nose, the savoury salted peanut offsets the sweetness of rum in a well-balanced harmony. It alludes wonderfully to coffee and walnut cake. On the palate you’re taken through a journey beginning with a rich sweetness that opens into a strong and sturdy nutty note. The rum comes dancing in before the peanut steps out and leaves it on the finish. Being a lower ABV, it’s very palatable, never being too sweet or two punchy. It’s a great sipping drink for those that like that.

With a mixer, the bottle suggests two serves, one with cola and one with cranberry or raspberry juice, to give an adult ‘peanut butter jelly vibe’. Both of these options work nicely. The cranberry juice ‘peanut butter jelly’ is a wonderfully simple but inventive serve, which goes to show how creative we can be with mixers.

I decided to a play myself and tried it with Schweppes Muscovado Dark Spirit mixer. The muscovado really opens the drink up with darker, more chocolatey notes, which work beautifully with the peanut. I’d suggest if you’re doing this, go half and half and taste that to see if you need to add more. The lower ABV means that the Rumbutt doesn’t have the weight to punch through mixers as well as 40% spirits so in my humble opinion, a little less mixer is needed for the right balance.

Rumbutt is the latest in a series of Shellys creations. It follows on from the Rumbarb, a blend of Caribbean dark rums with natural rhubarb, demerara and vanilla. There are also other spirits, with flavours such as Raspberry Ripple and Manchester Tart. All of these are available through our shop. Shellys is a company full of interesting idea and they’re labelled correctly. This hybrid, stepping stone of spirits seems to be proving quite popular with today’s drinkers, who seem to prefer an easier drink. It is a delicious little tipple. And it’s well thought out, with the savoury nutty notes downplaying an obvious sweetness to really balance it out overall. Excellent work. So my recommendation? Grab yourself so ice and a glass and off you go!

Rum History for Rum Day

Friday 16th August was National Rum Day! I had compiled this to post on the day to celebrate. But, unfortunately due to a technical hitch, was unable to. So, let us delay no further, let’s all sit down and learn a little of the history behind this delicious spirit. Now, I must acknowledge the fact that history isn’t always pretty, in fact, it’s often the opposite. And, I think it’s important to open our eyes and understand history, as it’s what has led to everything that is now. Anyway, let’s crack on!

The Etymology of Rum

Where does rum get it’s name?  Well, it’s origin isn’t the clearest of things. In an 1824 essay, Samuel Morewood, who was a British etymologist suggested it might derive from the British slang term for “the best”, as in “having a rum time”. Early rum tasted rather harsh though, so nowadays we’re not sure how accurate that idea is. There was another suggestion by Morewood that the word was taken from the last syllable of the Latin word for sugar, saccharum. This is today’s more commonplace view. Either way, rum was being commonly used by 1654.

Origins

There are lot’s of ear;ly stories document spirits very similar to rum. I suppose in theory such a lovely thing would be discovered and enjoyed in various places. According to one Maria Dembinska, the King of Cyprus, Peter 1st or Pierre I de Lusignan, brought rum with him as a gift for the other royal dignitaries at the Congress of Krakow, in 1364. Although this drink was named rum, it was likely not have been much like modern rums.

Another early rum-like drink is something called brum. Produced by the Malay people, brum dates back thousands of years. There is also an instance when Marco Polo also recorded a 14th-century account of a “very good wine of sugar” from the area that became modern-day Iran.

The first distillation of rum in the Caribbean happened at sugarcane plantations there in the 17th century. Plantation slaves discovered that molasses, leftover from the sugar refining process, could be fermented into alcohol. Later, distillation of this concentrated the alcohol and removed impurities, creating the first modern rums. There is some idea that this first happened on the island of Nevis. However, in the decade of the 1620s, rum production was also recorded in Brazil.

A 1651 document from Barbados stated, “The chief fuddling they make in the island is Rumbullion, alias Kill-Divil, and this is made of sugar canes distilled, a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that!

Colonial North America

After rum’s development in the Caribbean, the drink’s popularity spread to Colonial North America. To support demand, the first rum distillery in the British colonies of North America was set up in 1664 on Staten Island. Only 3 years later, Boston, Massachusetts, had a distillery. Rum was soon early Colonial New England’s largest and most prosperous industry. Rhode Island rum even joined gold as an accepted currency for a period of time. Estimates of rum consumption in the American colonies before the American Revolutionary War had every man, woman, or child drinking an average of 3 imperial gallons of rum each year.

To keep up with demand for molasses and sugar in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, labour was needed for the plantations. A triangular trade in rum, molasses, and slaves was established between Africa, the Caribbean, and the colonies. In the slave trade, rum was also used to exchange. For example, the slave Venture Smith, whose history was later published, had been purchased in Africa for four gallons of rum plus a piece of calico.

The popularity of rum continued after the American Revolution, with George Washington insisting on a barrel at his 1789 inauguration.

Rum started to play an important role in the political system; candidates attempted to influence the outcome of an election through their generosity with rum. The candidate was expected to drink with the people to show he was independent and truly a republican.

Colonial Australia

Rum was important for trade in the early period of the colony of New South Wales. It was a prized object as the area was quite poor and people wanted to forget their troubles. The value of rum was such that convict settlers could be induced to work the lands owned by officers of the New South Wales Corps. Due to rum’s popularity there, the colony gained a reputation for drunkenness, though they were drinking less than the English at the time.

Australia was a long journey away from Britain. So much so that that the convict colony, established in 1788, faced severe food shortages, compounded by poor conditions for growing crops and the shortage of livestock. To solve this, the colony of India supplied the settlement of Sydney instead. By 1817, two out of every three ships which left Sydney went to Java or India, and cargoes from Bengal fed and equipped the colony. Casks of Bengal Rum were brought back in nearly every ship from India. The cargos were delivered quietly before the ships docked, by the British Marines regiment who controlled the sales.

Rum was intimately involved in the only military takeover of an Australian government, known as the Rum Rebellion. When William Bligh became governor of the colony, he attempted to remedy the perceived problem with drunkenness by outlawing the use of rum as a medium of exchange. Well, we all know that outlawing things doesn’t always work if people still want to do it, just look at the American prohibition era. In response to Bligh’s attempt to regulate the use of rum, in 1808, the New South Wales Corps marched on Government House and placed Bligh under arrest. The mutineers continued to control the colony until the arrival of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1810.

Naval Rum

Rum became associated with piracy as it was a valuable item, and a commodity worth having. As some of the privateers became pirates and buccaneers, their fondness for rum remained, the association between the two being strengthened by literary works such as Stevensons’s Treasure Island. The association of rum with the Royal Navy began around 1655, when the British fleet captured the island of Jamaica. With the availability of domestically produced rum, the British changed the daily ration of liquor given to seamen from French brandy to rum.

While the ration was originally given neat, or mixed with lime juice to help diseases like scurvy, rum was watered down from around 1740. A chap called Admiral Edward Vernon had the rum ration watered as he was worried about his crew being a little to jolly to sail. This is what we know today as grog. The Royal Navy continued to give its sailors a daily rum ration, known as a “tot”, until the practice was abolished after 31 July 1970. Even now, the Navy has Rum Tot Day as an annual acknowledgement of this well known and popular naval tradition.

After the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson’s body was preserved in a cask of rum to travel home to England. Upon arrival, however, the cask was opened and found to be empty. The pickled body was removed and, upon inspection, a hole was discovered from which sailors had been sipping away at the liquid. “Nelson’s blood” is now another term sometimes used to describe rum. There is a little hearsay to this story, but it’s still a very interesting one.

Navy Strength Rum is often found nowadays. Many companies sell Navy Strength versions of their rums. Navy Strength needs to be 57% or above, as set light to gunpowder with rum would burn over this abv. This was a trick to tell if the spirit wasn’t watered down, as there was no equipment to measure abv at the time. And, it was not uncommon for either the distillery, or the purser, to take advantage of that.

Well, there we are, just a few tit bits to make up a small base knowledge. There is a wealth more information out there! If you’re interested in it then get out there and start learning!

Cheers!

 

 

 

Your home collection and scoring

I received the most wonderful email recently from Colin.

Colin is based in South Africa and wanted to share his collection with us. Not only share his collection but the scores that him and his wife have accumulated over the years, finally completing scores on their entire collection!

Colin first got in contact to say:

“Not sure whether you will find the information on the attached list useful or not ?

My wife and i have just finished tasting all of  our 142 gins and did decided to

keep a record of the scores for each bottle tasted, and as in most things in life our

comments are very much our personal taste but we thought the findings could

make some good reading and should be self explanatory.”

Well, firstly. I wanted to see their home bar. And this is what they sent:

 

And naturally, I asked for a picture of Colin and his good lady:

Look at that love! Absolutely amazing!

” The bar is at home as the additional attached photo’s will confirm [We live in

a little place called Marina Beach in KwaZulu Natal South Africa [South of Durban]

The history of the “my bars” go back to my time in the UK beginning  in the early

70’s as once I had completed my apprenticeship and started working overseas I then

had enough disposable income to have a bar at home. The one you see now is a

joint design and hand made specifically for the house in solid red wood and is a far

cry from my original slated pine one. I even met my second wife over my bar with a

40 oz bottle of Tanqueray that I had just brought back from Bahrain. When I asked

her what she would like to drink she said “I would love a G & T.” A lady of class I said,

which she replied, lots of class but no cash !!! [I even asked her husband if I could take

her out for dinner !!!, 45 years later we are still married] So my personal bar is really part

of who I am and it seems to me to be very much a part of my English upbringing. I still

remember my father telling me that the British Empire was built on G & T’s, the gin to

make you forget where you were and the quinine to keep the malaria down!!

Now, there will be mixed opinion on sharing the scores. Some people  like to go it alone, to find what they think before they find out what others think. Others, well, they’re researchers. They like to know as much as possible before trying something, to get that full understanding of it. If you’re the first type, don’t read on. If you’re the second, well, you guys, this is for you. Before I go, let’s just say a big thank you to Colin for getting in touch! If you’d like to share photos of your home bar, spirit collection or personal scorings then email me at bernadette@ginandrumfestival.com

NAME DATE TASTE AROMA TASTE & TONIC REMARKS
A MARI OCEAN @ 43% 26/12/18 3.25 3.5 4.25 Sippable use cucumber [South African]
BATHTUB @ 43.3% 19/10/18 2.75 3.0 3.5 [English]
BEEFEATER LONDON DRY @ 47% 11/01/19 4.0 4.0 4.5 [English]
BEEFEATER # 24 @ 45% 19/10/18 2.5 3.5 4.0 [English]
BEEFEATER PINK @ 37.5% 27/01/19 3.0 3.0 N/A [English]
BELGRAVIA @ 43% 29/09/18 2.0 2.0 3.0 [South African]
BIG BEN LONDON DRY @ 43% 03/11/18 1.5 1.5 2.0 [Indian]
BIOSTILLA ORGANIC DRY @ 43% 03/11/18 2.0 2.0 3.5 [Italian]
BLAAUWKLIPPEN 3X BOTANICALS @ 43% 03/02/19 2.0 2.0 3.5 [South African]
BLAAUWKLIPPEN 3X CITRUS @ 43% 26/01/19 2.0 2.5 3.0 [South African]
BLAAUWKLIPPEN 3X JUNIPER @ 43% 12/10/18 3.0 2.5 3.0 [South African]
BLACK HORSE @ 43% 29/09/18 0.5 1.0 0.5 [South African]
BLAK MOUNTAIN KAROO DRY @ 43% 27/01/19 2.0 2.25 3.5 Sippable [South African]
BLACKWOOD VINTAGE @ 40% 29/09/18 3.0 3.5 4.0 Sippable [Scottish]
BLIND TIGER @ 46 % 29/12/18 3.0 3.0 4.0 [South African]
BLOEDLEMON @ 43% 13/10/18 3.5 3.5 4.0 [South African]
BLOOM @ 40% 05/10/18 3.5 3.5 4.0 [English]
BOMBAY EAST @ 47% 03/11/18 3.0 3.5 4.0 Sippable & use less tonic[English]
BOMBAY ORIGINAL DRY @ 43% 05/10/18 3.0 3.0 4.5 [English]
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE LONDON DRY@ 47% 20/01/19 2.5 2.5 4.0 Sippable [English]
BOMBAY STAR OF BOMBAY @ 47.5% 15/09/18 3.0 3.5 4.0 Just about sippable [English]
BOPLASS LONDON DRY @ 43 % 26/12/18 3.0 3.0 4.0 Sippable with cucumber[South African]
BOTANIST @ 46% 18/08/18 4.5 4.0 4.5 Sippable but use no Lemon [Scottish]
BOTTEGA BACUR   @ 43% 07/09/18 3.5 3.0 3.5 Sippable  [Italian]
BULLDOG @ 40% 22/09/18 3.5 4.0 4.5 Sippable [English]
CAORUNN @ 43.8% 18/08/18 2.0 3.0 4.0 [Scottish]
CAPE TOWN CLASSIC DRY @ 43% 26/10/18 2.75 3.0 4.25 Sippable [South African]
CAPE TOWN THE PINK LADY @ 43 % 05/01/19 2.5 3.0 3.25 [South African]
CAPE TOWN ROOIBOS RED@43% 16/01/19 2.0 2.5 3.25 [South African]
CLEMENGOLD @ 43% 06/10/18 2.0 2.5 3.0 [South African]
CONSULATE @ 43% 29/09/18 2.0 2.5 3.0 [South African]
D’ARIA RENOSTERBOS@43 09/11/18 3.0 3.5 4.0 Sippable [South African]
DEEP SOUTH CAPE DRY @ 43% 04/01/19 1.75 3.0 3.5 [South African]
DIE MAS KHALAHARI DRY @ 43% 27/01/19 3.0 3.0 4.0 Sippable [South African]
DIPLOME @ 44% 07/10/18 2.0 2.5 3.5 [French]
DISTILLARY 031 DURBAN DRY@ 43% 25/01/19 2.5 3.0 3.75 [South African]
DURBANVILLE @ 43% 03/02/19 1.75 2.0 2.5 [South African]
EDGERTON DRY GIN @ 40% 26/10/18 1.75 2.0 3.0 [English]
ELEPHANT GIN @ 45% 02/11/18 3.25 3.5 3.75 [German]
FLOWSTONE BUSH WILLOW @ 43% 03/11/18 2.5 2.5 2.75 Just about Sippable [South African]
FLOWSTONE WILD CUCUMBER @ 43% 06/01/19 3.0 3.5 4.0 Sippable [South African]
FLOWSTONE MARULA @ 43% 09/11/18 2.0 2.5 2.75 [South African]
FINERY GRAPEFRUIT @ 43% 09/11/18 2.0 2.5 2.75 Just about Sippable [South African]
GABRIEL BOUDIER SAFFRON @ 40% 26/10/18 1.75 2.5 2.5 [French]
GILBEY’S DRY@ 43% 12/01/19 3.5 3.5 4.0 [English]
GILBEY’S APPLE LIQUER @ 20% 12/01/19 2.5 2.5 N/A [English] Do not buy
GILBEY’S BERRY LIQUER @ 20% 27/12/18 1.0 1.0 N/A [English] Do not buy
GILBEY’S BITTER ORANGE @ 20% 27/01/19 2.0 2.0 N/A [English] Do not buy
GIN FACTORY @ 43.8% 11/08/18 1.25 1.5 2.5 [Scottish]
GINIFER CHILLI INFUSED @ 43% 04/02/19 1.5 1.5 2.5 [South African] If you like chilies then this is the one for you !!
GINIFER JOBURG DRY @ 43 % 13/01/19 2.5 3.0 3.5 [South African]
GINMG LONDON DRY @ 43 % 12/12/18 2.0 2.0 3.25 [Spanish]
GINOLOGIST CITRUS @ 43 % 03/02/19 2.0 2.0 3.5 [South African] With Lime
GINOLOGIST FLORAL @ 43% 07/10/18 3.0 3.0 3.5 [South African]
GINOLOGIST SPICE @ 43 % 05/01/19 1.5 2.0 2.5 [South African]
GORDON’S LONDON DRY @ 43% 11/11/18 2.0 2.5 4.0 [British]
GREENHALL’S LONDON DRY @43% 20/01/19 2.5 2.5 4.0 Sippable [British] with lime
GREY HAWK SINGLE GRAIN @ 43 % 12/01/19 2.0 2.0 2.0 [South African]
HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY @ 43 % 19/04/19 3.0 3.0 4.5 Sippable with lime [British]
HENDRICK’S DRY @ 44% 18/01/19 3.25 3.5 4.25 Sippable [Scottish]
HENLEY’S TRADITIONAL@ 43% 01/02/19 1.5 2.5 2.5 [South African] Do not buy
HOPE LONDON DRY @ 43% 12/10/18 3.0 3.5 3.5 [South African]
HOPE MEDITERRANEAN @ 43% 26/12/18 2.5 2.75 3.0 [South African]
HOPE on HOPKINS WINTER WARMER @ 43 % 19/01/19 0.75 0.75 1.0 [South African] Do not buy
HOPE SALT RIVER @ 43 % 04/01/19 2.0 2.5 2.75 [South African]
HOWLING OWL @ 43 % 24/12/18 3.5 3.5 4.2 Sippable [South African]
HUNTLEY COOPER LONDON DRY@ 43% 11/01/19 3.75 3.75 4.25 Sippable [French]
ICEBERG LONDON DRY @ 43% 27/10/18 1.0 1.0 1.5 [Canadian]
INVERROCHE AMBER @ 43% 01/09/18 3.0 2.5 4.0 Sippable  [South African]

Not a classic style gin

INVERROCHE CLASSIC @ 43 % 06/01/18 2.75 2.75 4.0 [South African]
INVERROCHE COCO CARISSA @ 43 % 07/02/19 2.5 3.0 4.0 [South African] No lemon or Lime
INVERROCHE VERDANT @ 43% 29/12/18 3.0 3.25 4.25 [South African]
JAMES ENGLISH LONDON DRY@ 43% 11/11/18 2.0 1.5 3.0 [Scottish Good Bye ]
JAWBOX @ 43% 15/09/18 3.0 3.5 4.5 [English / Belfast]
JENEVER MONTANE FYNBOS DRY @ 43% 03/11/18 1.5 1.5 2.0 [South African]
J.J WHITELEY LONDON DRY@ 43% 12/01/19 3.5 3.5 4.5 Sippable [English]
JODHPUR @ 43% 11/08/18 3.5 3.5 3.0 Sippable [English]
JORGENSENS @ 43% 03/02/19 1.5 1.5 2.5 [South African] Do not buy
JORGENSENS HIBISCUS @ 43 % 13/01/19 3.0 3.5 4.0 [South African]
JUNIPER MOON @ 43% 07/10/18 2.5 2.0 3.0 [South African]
KAAPSE BUCHU @ 43% 19/01/19 0.5 0.5 1.0 [South Africa] Do not buy
KWV CRUXLAND @ 43% 27/10/18 2.0 2.0 3.0 [South African]
LANGLEYS OLD TOM

@ 47%

22/09/18 2.5 2.0 3.5 [English]
LONDON GIN CO # 1 @ 40% 14/10/18 2.5 3.0 4.0 [English Blue]
LIVERPOOL @ 43 % 29/12/18 2.75 3.0 4.0 [English]
MALFY @ 43% 20/10/18 4.0 3.0 4.25 Sippable but use less tonic[Italian]
MASTERS LONDON DRY @ 43% 01/02/19 2.0 2.5 4.0 [Spanish]
MELBOURNE GIN COMPANY @ 42% 25/08/18 3.0 2.0 4.0 [Australian]
MIRARI BLUE ORIENT @ 43% 18/01/19 3.25 3.25 4.25 [South African] With lime
MIRARI PINK DAMASK @ 43% 19/01/19 3.25 3.25 4.25 [South African] With lime
MONKEY 47 @ 47% 25/08/18 2.0 2.0 4.25 [German]
MUSGRAVE PINK @ 43% 01/02/19 2.0 2.0 3.5 [South African]
MUSGRAVE SPECIAL @ 43 % 20/01/19 2.0 2.0 4.0 Sippable [South African] With lime
NEW HARBOUR ROIIBOS @ 43 % 04/02/19 1.5 1.5 2.5 [South African] Do not buy
N1 DISTILLERY @ 43% 26/01/19 3.0 3.0 4.25 Sippable [South African]
NUMBER 3 @ 46% 25/08/18 3.0 2.0 4.0 Sippable [English]
OLD BUCK @ 43% 13/10/18 2.0 2.5 2.5 [South African]
OPIHR @ 40% 01/09/18 2.5 3.0 3.5 [English]
0URA LONDON DRY @ 43% 21/10/18 3.0 3.5 4.25 Sippable but use less tonic [French]
OXFORD DRY @43 % 23/12/18 0.1 0.1 0.1  [South African] Do not  buy
OXLEY LONDON DRY @ 43% 22/12/18 3.5 3.5 4.5 Very Sippable [English]
PIENAAR & SON EMPIRE @ 43% 04/11/18 1.0 1.0 2.5 [South African]
PIENAAR & SON ORIENT @ 43% 11/11/18 1.5 1.5 1.75 [South African]
PLYMOUTH NAVY STRENGH @ 57% 15/09/18 3.0 3.0 4.5 [English]
Q
RED STONE @ 43% 29/12/18 1.75 2.0 2.5 [South African]
RED STONE CLASSIC @ 43% 11/01/19 3.75 3.5 4.0 Sippable [South African]
ROKU @ 43 % 15/12/18 3.5 3.5 4.0 [Japanese]
ROTTCHER SLOWVELD CLEMENTINE @ 43% 11/08/18 2.5 3.0 2.0 [South African]
ROYAL FLUSH @ 43% 25/01/19 2.0 2.5 2.75 [French]
ROYAL NAVY @ 43% 29/09/18 2.0 2.0 3.0 [Mauritian]
SEAGRAMS @ 43% 14/10/18 3.0 3.0 3.5 [American] Good Buy]
SINCLAIR LONDON DRY @ 43% 26/01/19 2.5 2.5 3.5 [South African] Good Bye]
SIPSMITH @ 43.3% 01/09/18 2.0 2.0 3.5 [English]
SIXDOGS KAROO BLUE @ 43% 21/10/18 2.5 3.0 4.0 [South African]
SIXDOGS THORN & LAVENDER @ 43% 25/01/19 2.25 3.25 4.5 [South African]
STEP 5 @ 43% 15/09/18 3.5 3.0 4.0 Very Sippable [South African]
STRETTONS DOUBLE CUT @ 43% 22/01/19 2.0 2.5 3.0 [South African] Good buy
STRETTONS LONDON DRY@ 43% 28/10/18 2.5 2.5 3.0 [South African] Good Buy]
STRETTONS ORIGINAL @ 43% 22/09/18 2.0 2.5 3.0 [South African] Good Buy]
SUGARBIRD CAPE FYNBOS @ 43% 19/10/18 3.5 3.0 4.25 [South African]
TANQUERAY LONDON DRY @47.3 13/01/19 2.5 2.5 4.5 [English]
TANQUERAY MALACCA  @ 41.3% 22/12/18 3.5 3.5 4.5 Very Sippable [English]
TANQUERAY No 10 @ 47.3 % 04/01/19 2.5 3.0 4.5 [English]
TANQUERAY RANGPUR @ 41.3% 07/09/18 4.5 4.0 4.5 Very Sippable[English]
THE GENERALS @   43 % 04/02/19 2.0 2.0 3.5 [South African]
THE LONDON No 1   @ 47% 07/09/18 4.0 3.5 4.0 Sippable  [English]
TIME ANCHOR LONDON DRY@ 43% 28/12/18 1.25 1.25 2.0 [South African]
TIME SQUARE LONDON DRY@43 % 23/12/18 0.5 0.5 0.5  [South African] Do not buy
TOWER BRIDGE LONDON DRY@ 43% 25/01/19 1.0 1.5 2.5 [South African] Do not buy
TROUVAILLE BLOSSOM & HOPS @ 43% 11/11/18 2.0 2.5 2.75 [South African]
U
V
WESTCLIFF JOBURG DRY @ 43% 04/11/18 2.0 2.5 3.5 [South African]
WHITELY NEILL ALOE & CUCUMBER @ 43 % 14/02/19 2.0 2.5 4.0 [English]
WHITELY NEILL DRY @ 43 % 24/12/18 3.0 3.5 4.25 Sippable [English]
WHITELY NEIL [Protea & Hibiscus] @ 43% 22/09/18 2.0 2.0 2.0 [English]
WILDERER FYNBOS @ 43 % 16/01/19 2.5 3.0 4.0 [South African] With lime
WILLIAMS GB @ 40% 18/08/18 3.5 3.0 4.0 Sippable, Use Lemon zest & fresh ginger [English]
WILSONS LONDON DRY @ 43 % 13/01/19 1.0 1.0 1.5 [South African] Do not buy
WIXWORTH RENOSTERBOS@43 05/01/19 2.5 3.0 3.25 [South African]
WOODSTOCK BEER INCEPTION @ 43% 26/01/19 2.0 2.5 2.5 [South African]
WOODSTOCK    HIGH TEA INCEPTION@43% 03/02/19 2.75 2.75 3.0 [South African] If you like tea then this is the one for you
WOODSTOCK WINE INCEPTION @ 43% 26/10/18 2.0 2.0 2.0 [South African]
X
Y
Z
TOTAL TO DATE 142 on 17/04/19

 

 

 

Where do you want a festival?

I’m so pleased that I’m starting to get emails from you lovely lot! I wanted to share one of the first ones with you. I recently received a question from a friendly looking chap called Terry. Terry says:

Hi Bernadette, what have you got against the South West?

All the festival for 2019 all over the country but nothing in either Devon
or Cornwall, why are we deprived of a festival, especially when so many
small batch craft gins are distilled here.

Take a look at Torquay, an amazing place for an event.

Terry

 

I did respond to Terry, explaining that the first festival I worked at for Ginfestival.com was in Torquay and we had a great time there. I think it’s an important question that needs addressing and he has kindly said we can share the question on the blog. Also, he’s absolutely right. The South West have really been making a name for themselves in gin in recent years and there are some fantastic brands that way, Tarquins being one of my personal favourites.

Gin and Rum Festival took on quite a large expansion last year, picking up a lot of the festivals cancelled by Ginfestival.com and offering free entrance to customers who already had tickets to the cancelled event. As you can imagine, a festival takes a lot of work. The logistics of organising and transporting everything, setting up, running and packing down is no easy task, especially when crammed into a weekend, and that’s just the back end stuff! So it was important for us to take the time this year to ensure we are working efficiently to bring an event that we are really passionate about to our customers. Saying this, we are well aware that there are some ‘gaps on the map’ so to speak, and we are very keen to bridge them!

So, Terry, I hope that you’ll be pleased to hear that Torquay is now on our list for new festivals. And, we’d like other suggestions for where you would like to see a festival too!  Tell me where you want to see a festival and why, and as soon as we’re ready to start adding dates we’ll be getting on the case.

Thank you for your question Terry! More like that please!

 

Did you know that April is Jazz appreciation month?

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Gin and Jazz have a relationship stretching back a whole century. Well, gin is more well know. However, any spirit has it’s place in the time of prohibition. There are some that say jazz was indirectly fuelled by prohibition. When I first read the Great Gatsby, set in that amazing era, I was enamoured by the glitz and glamour of prohibition parties. 

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“The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.”

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Some things are timeless. Prohibition has such a profound effect on our creation of cocktails. To celebrate I thought I share a few you could try at home. Just make sure you crank that jazz up before you get started.

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The Mint Julip

The Mint Julip is a landmark cocktail. Born in the US in the 18th century, the cocktail itself is mentioned in Gatsby and is both simple and beautiful. Originally bourbon based, it adapts fantastically to gin or rum. Ideally, it’s made in a pewter cup, although a highball glass is suitable. All it takes is a teaspoon of sugar mixed with a splash of water. Add a handful of mint and give it a gentle squish and add your spirit. Simple and full of flavour.

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The South Side

Although the history of this cocktail isn’t very clear, there is speculation that the drink may have been a favourite of Al Capone’s. The gin that his gang importer had a rougher finish to the smoother gin of his rivals, so it needed a little sweetening and the story goes, that’s how the South Side was born. This cocktail works with gin, vodka or white rum.  Mix your spirit with lemon juice, 2 tsp or sugar and 4 mint leaves. Give it all a good shake and strain. You can garnish with mint, or lemon, or maybe add a twist to it with a little rosemary.

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The Bees Knees

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The Bees knees a beautiful cocktail and slightly more honey yellow colour than what I’ve shown here. The sweetness of the honey and the sharp citrus would have done a good job at masking any bad quality prohibition spirit, although I’m not certain that was the purpose. Easy to make. Pop a big dollop of honey and a splash of room temperature in a cocktail shaker, add gin lemon juice, ice and shake. That’s all it takes! Perfectly served in a French martini glass, it’s a fab little cocktail.

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So, there we have it. 3 to get you started. I’d love to see some photos of your efforts. Feel free to get in touch with a photo or two and tell me about how it went. Bonus points for a group photo!

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Welcome to our new blog!

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It’s going to be a great way of sharing lots of fun stuff:

I’d love you to contribute! If any of the ideas spark a little something in you then get in touch and you could be featured on the blog! Additionally if you have suggestions for what you want to see in the blog then do let me know. You can contact me at bernadette@ginandrumfestival.com 

If you do get in touch then do send a photo so we can see your lovely face! 

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Blogging

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If you’re a member of the newsletter then you may already know me. If not then let me introduce myself very quickly. I’m Bernadette and I write www.undertheginfluence.com. It started as a labour of love 4 years ago and has turned into so much more. Nowadays I’m a spirits judge and I write for Gin Magazine and now for Gin and Rum Festival. Exciting times ahead!

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Blogging/Vlogging has gone mad in the last few years with more and more people setting up and sharing their opinions with the world. And if you’re into your spirits there is a number of amazing blogs out there that are really worth your time. At Gin and Rum Festival, we understand the art of blogging and the power of an honest person’s opinion. That’s why we’re making a point to get some great writers along to our festivals to review them. 

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We’ll be sharing reviews on our site when they’re posted. And, this gives you an extra bonus, as you will be redirected to their blog to read the review and hopefully through this process you’ll find more blogs that you enjoy and you’ll be able to learn more about your favourite spirits.

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