Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The Gin-Off, Graphic Bar, 18th July
If you want to get absolutely trollied on whimsical, inventive and tasty (for the most part) cocktails on a Monday then the Gin-Off is your man! Happening throughout the year, 16 gins compete against each other to make it into the Gin-off final by coming up with clever and creative ways to imbibe this particular liquor, and I was invited to the final heat.
When I went, the gins being showcased were Boodles, Sipsmith (they get everywhere), Tarquins and Martin Millers. I really wanted to like Martin Millers, as it is a blend of England and Iceland, two countries dear to my heart, but unfortunately I have to say their concoction was the worst cocktail I have ever had. Actively unpleasant to drink, I was a brave soul and finished it nonetheless. Milk and gin do not make good bedfellows. It did, at least, come in cute packaging but I am not a fan of a paper straw – so soggy so quickly.
Far and away the best cocktail of the evening came from Boodles who had somehow turned a cocktail into a quintessentially English curry, complete with political commentary on the recent Brexit result/fiasco. I didn’t expect to like it to be honest, but the savoury, fragrant spiciness was incredibly moreish. And extra bonus points for the properly spicy lime pickle! Unsurprisingly, this cocktail won hands down. Well deserved.
The other two also rans were nice enough. Tarquins served up little ‘ice creams’ which were as fun to watch created as they were to drink. And Sipsmith went down the most traditional route, serving up test tubes of their concoctions.
As soon as the cocktails started being lined up, everyone went for it, meaning we drank four deceptively strong cocktails within an hour. Little wonder then, that at 9 pm when all the drinks were sampled, the party was going OFF. The music was turned up and people were dancing. It felt a little surreal to be honest but really good fun!
Keep an eye out for the next one, or if you can’t wait, they do a Gin Social every Monday where you can have a welcome G&T, a tasting of that months Gin and a Gin cocktail of their own creation for £5.