Newsletter – Ginger Snap Day

Newsletter – Wednesday 1st July

Happy Wednesday Team!

How are we all doing this week? What a week for weather, last week! Absolutely glorious, then crashing down with that drop in temperature and big winds on Saturday. I hope that you all managed to keep cool and then get warm when it was needed!

So, what’s on this week? Well, today is Ginger Snap Day! So, let’s start off with talking about gin and ginger. Naturally it’s good to share some recipes, so I’d like to share a recipe for ginger snap biscuits, as well as the ginger snap cocktail.

Gin and ginger have a long history together. In fact, research suggests that gin and gingerbread was one of the very first food pairings, served at the Frost Fairs held on the frozen River Thames. Frost Fairs have been held since as far back as the 7th Century, the earliest one being recorded in 695, although under a different name. Vendors would set up they’re stalls on the frozen river to sell goods, alcohol and various activities would be held. In 1608 these events became known as Frost Fairs. These events continued whenever the winter frost permitted it and in the 1800s it was common for stalls to sell gingerbread and hot gin, a staple indulgence for visitors. Hot alcohol was commonplace and an important necessity. In this time, Britain was experiencing what is known as the Little Ice Age and temperatures were low, with inadequate heating in most places. The link between gin and ginger was forged. Some of the earliest cocktails were a mixture of gin and ginger syrup and in the navy, gin was sometimes drunk with ginger beer, known as a Hatfield.

So, before we look at cocktails. How abouts we bake some of those delicious little things? I’ve found a great little recipe, care of All Recipes, Grandma’s Gingersnap Cookies

And now we’ve made some of those, let’s look at the cocktail! The Ginger Snap. Here’s a great recipe of a Ginger Snap made with gin, care of Difford’s Guide. There are variations with vodka and with rum. Considering how wonderful rum works with ginger it would be well worth trying a rum variation.

And what gins would we recommend to go with the ginger snap? Well, as history states, Old Tom is a firm favourite. Old Toms are a style that is slightly sweeter than London Drys. Back in the day, these gins were known as sweeter as there was oftens something added to cover the lack of quality in homemade gin. Sugar was sometimes added, Liquorice more so as it was cheaper. It wasn’t always sweetened, in some instances gins were cask aged, giving the gin a slight colouration and flavours obtained from the wood. There is this historial link, but I would also add that the sweetness of Old Tom gins work very well with the spice of ginger.

At the Gin and Rum Festival shop, we would suggest the following gin:

Sacred Old Tom: This high-strength interpretation of the 18th-century staple. With bold notes of Juniper and Liquorice Root, alongside a modern flourish of vacuum-distilled Spanish Sweet Orange Peels. 

Bruni Collins: A Premium London Dry Gin from Granada (South of Spain), distilled three times for an amazing purity. Using 8 different botanicals; juniper berries, cardamom, coriander, angelica, lime, ginger, mandarin as well as one secret ingredient. Buy it here

And, as mentioned, you can easily ‘rum up’ your Ginger Snap cocktail. Rum goes beautifully with ginger. A Dark and Stormy is a favourite cocktail of mine, comprising lime, brown sugar, ginger beer and rum. So, if you’re more a rum person than a gin person, I‘d suggest the following, again, available from our shop.

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof British Navy Rum: Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof is a classic British style rum, inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot given to sailors as their daily ration until Black Tot Day, 31July 1970. Buy it here

So, once again, here we are. I hope you’ve found this interesting and have some great fun with the recipes. Take care of yourselves and have a great week!

Newsletter – Apple Strudel Day

Newsletter – 17th June 2020

Happy Wednesday Team!

Four days on, the dust is beginning to settle on World Gin Day. What a wonderful event! The spirits industry is such a fantastic community of vibrant and interesting people sharing a real passion for their product. It’s a very special thing. Emma, or Gin Monkey, the event organiser, really pulled it out of the bag with a whole host of events, covered all around the globe. And whilst the world may feel more segregated by Covid-19, Saturday’s effort reminded me just how connected we all still are.

If you missed out on the day, please don’t worry! There is still so much you can find online. There has been a whole host of distillery tours, pane discussions, tastings. So head onto social media (Twitter is a good option) and sech #WorldGinDay.

“So what are we celebrating this week?” I hear you cry! Well team, it’s only National Apple Strudel Day in the US, and that got me thinking about the humble apple. There is so much you can do with those tasty little morsels. So I’ve not only got some cocktail recipes for you, I’ve also got a recipe for a rummy Apple Strudel too.

Care of ChefSteps, we have a gimlet with a difference! This recipe could be as simple as they come, but there is the clever twist of lemon foam. It’s a genius twist on a classic. Not only that but this page also includes a lovely bit of history on the gimlet, one of gin’s great historic cocktails. 

And what gin would you use for this? The recipe suggests an Old Tom, a gin with a sweeter style than London Drys. Sacred Old Tom: This high-strength interpretation of the 18th-century staple, with bold notes of Juniper and naturally sweet Liquorice Root, alongside a modern flourish of vacuum-distilled Spanish Sweet Orange Peels, which accentuate this classic sweeter gin.

Next up, not quite an apple strudel cocktail, this apple crumble cocktail was too good not to share. Sugar and Soul have created something really wonderful with this little drink and it is a glorious example of the beautiful combination of apple and rum.

And a great cocktail like this deserves a great rum. Luckily we’ve got a spiced rum that fits the bill and it’s on special offer in our shop too! Rebellion Spiced Rum. The spicy figurehead of the Rebellion rum range – packed full of spice and great as the foundation of a tasty Cuban. Interestingly, this rum comes from a distillery founded in 1824.

And lastly on the cocktail front, this snazzy little number. Bon Appetit have really knocked it out the park with this, their Holiday Rum Sparkler. It sounds like pure heaven in a glass, deep, sweet, yet fresh and fizzy. Pick me a winner!

One rum from our collection stood out for this cocktail, Cana Y Colema Honey Rum. It’s made from a blend of quality aged rums and the finest honey, which are combined to make a drink with a fine body and an exquisite flavour. If you are going to use this I’d maybe lessen how much honey you put in to the cocktail. Let the spirit do the work wherever you can.

How do you get rum into an apple strudel? You soak the raisins, of course! No problems if you’re not too hot on the original recipe, here’s a recipe that tells you how to do the whole thing.

I am almighty hungry for apple strudel now. I might have to scratch that itch and make one over the weekend. If you have a go do let me know, and if there’s anything you wanted to share you can always find me at

Newsletter – Summer G&R Cocktails

Newsletter – 27th May 2020

Happy Wednesday Team!

How are we all doing? Did we have a good bank holiday Monday? I hope you managed to get a little bit of sunshine wherever you are, even if through an open window. Sitting in a chair in a sunny nook is a lovely thing. Now, today it’s sunscreen day today, so we’re celebrating everything sunshine. Plus, last week I took a ‘faux holiday’ at home (should have been Lisbon but hey, we’re all in the same boat there, huh?) And, on that first day away, I forgot my sun cream and burnt like a piece of bacon which definitely made the rest of the holiday a little trickier. So, with this in mind, I thought not only could I use this as a great opportunity to remind you all to cream up if you’re going outside. I could give you some hints on ‘faux holidaying’ at home, and deliver some bright flavoured gins and a suitable sunshine cocktail or two.

So, let’s start with the important thing. As you cool kids (the class of 95) will know, Baz Luhrmann once said “If I could offer you one piece of advice for the future, sunscreen would be it.” It’s important stuff and can save your life down the line so if you’re getting out in the sun give yourselves a good slathering of the white stuff first. I’ve taken to using factor 50 as once it’s on I know I’m alright for a bit.

Now we’ve got that important public announcement out of the way, let’s move onto the fun part huh? Firstly, if you have been affected by a holiday cancellation but are still taking that holiday, here are some top tips for recreating that holiday vibe at home. Yes, this is what we did last week, and I loved every second of it.

  1. Get up early for airport drinks. Treat yourself to something nice. At least you can saunter downstairs rather than undertake a two hour journey to your local airport. Mine’s Gatwick.
  2. Move. We were lucky and moved into the spare room. If you’re in a smaller pad, then set up a den in the lounge or move your room around. Or if you’re in a family, swap rooms for the week, whatever gives you that feeling of waking up somewhere different. This is a great substitute for the flight and finding your hotel. And add the little touches. We made up a minibar that wouldn’t lump us with a heavy surcharge at the end and it was fabulous.
  3. Recreate the surroundings. We treated ourselves to some sun loungers and a kiddy paddling pool and pretended we were at the beach. We also made a large glass drinks dispenser of rum punch which we sat on a table as a ‘poolside bar.
  4. Take in a bit of culture. We found a walking tour video on youtube, and sat and watched it in bed. Obviously not as good as being there, but it felt really good as it was raining in the video and we were all cozy and warm with tea and biscuits.
  5. Sample the local cuisine. Unfortunately we had no local take-away to try Portugese food. If you like to cook, and fancy a bit of self catering then hunt out some recipes to try. If you’re doing the whole lazy holiday thing then treat yourself to a takeaway, sit at the table and stick on some local music.
  6. Take holiday snaps. We had so much fun recreating typical holiday photos! Washing machine doors make great plane windows. Who knows what pool that blue is in the background. The imagination of the photos makes all the difference.
  7. Admire the architecture. We went for a quick walk around the block and went to the local park for an hour. We got some good holiday snaps of local architecture and countryside.
  8. Send postcards. Trying to sniff out a pack of Lisbon postcards was not easy. So, I got a pack of blank ones and drew our own. It was a nice little activity, it was an enjoyable walk to post them and the family appreciated it a lot.

I know some of those sound silly. But I found a bit of imagination really did help. No, we weren’t actually there, but all these little things helped create an experience that we really enjoyed and we definitely spent more time having fun than wishing we were there. 

Well hey, so far in and still no spirits This needs rectifying immediately! With a rather special little cocktail recently that I discovered via Cookin Canuk. I was draw to this receipt immediately by its use of one of one of my favourite citrus fruits, clementine along with the use of tarragon. An unusual but fabulous herb.

Then, we have this rather gorgeous little thing, care of the Spruce Eats. The colour of this drink, the straight up martini serve and the mingling flavours of gin and apricot brandy are something a little special. No wonder it’s call a Paradise Cocktail.

And lastly. A simple twist on a stone cold classic. The Tequila Sunrise must be one of the most classic sunshine cocktails there is. And surprise, it’s super easy to make a gin version. Check out this recipe from Nutmeg Nanny and get cracking.

And as always, here’s my recommendations of  bright gins from our range. To be honest, with this sort of cocktail you could use a dry as you get so much lush sweetness from the clementine. But hey, if you like those bright notes then these will be for you!

Rascal: Although not citrus, I think Rascal makes the cut when it comes to what I’d call a sunshine gin. Light bright flavours reminiscent of a summer’s day. Passion fruit and raspberry take classic citrus to another level. Premium strength, no added sugar and a must try for pornstar martini fans. Buy it here

Fines Master London Dry: A gin created by professional rugby players Pat Cillers and Mike Rhodes. A classic gin with a hearty helping of citrus deliciousness namely orange, lime and grapefruit. The bottle even comes in a wrap reminiscent of a rugby jersey. It’s the big blast of citrus here that gives that lovely bright idea of sunshine. Love it. Buy it here

Mumbai: It doesn’t get much sunnier than the lush sweet flavours of mango. India’s greatest gift to the world is its native mango. Also known as the king of fruits, Mumbai gin is brimming with this tropical flavour and a burst of pomegranate. Buy it here

And there we go! A little bit of sunshine for you all. I hope you enjoy having a go at the drinks and do check out our shop for some of the recommendations. Hope you have an amazing few days in the sun. Have fun and get that sun cream on!

Newsletter – Pick Strawberries Day

Newsletter – 20th May 2020

Well hey there team!

It’s Wednesday! And it’s not just Wednesday, it’s Pick Strawberries Day! What a perfect encapsulation of childhood. Strawberry picking is a past time that seems to be on hold at the moment. Fingers crossed we get that back soon.

So, in the interim, I’ve got a selection of strawberry based spirits to offer you. And, it’s only right that I offer you some strawberry based cocktails, as well as some great strawberry based gins and rums.

I saw a video online the other day that I just have to share with you. Paul Hollyfield purchasing a £350 strawberry. Nonsense! I first thought, but then I watched it and golly, if I had a spare £350, which I don’t (who does nowadays), I’d have totally taken up that guy on his world leading strawberries. He’s spent a long time perfecting that breeding to create something truly marvellous and with the ideas playing in there.  You can check out the video below.

Watching that made me super fancy some of the juicy little red devils. So, let’s get started on some strawberry based classic cocktails.

Head honcho of the strawberry cocktail is arguably the strawberry daiquiri. This white rum based delight is a cream in girly social circles and it’s a bit more than that as far as I’m concerned. Sweet fruit with white rum is an absolute winner on a hot day. So have a crack at this easy version from Miss in the Kitchen:

So, tha gives us a little bit of rum, but let’s make something that involves gin, as it’s a diva really and doesn’t liem being left out. It was tricky to find a quintessential strawberry based gin cocktail but I went with this one purely because it acknowledges the beautiful relationship between strawberry and basil. Not only that but I love the fact that this isn’t a particular cocktail. It’s just a mush up of different things and therefore has no particular identity other than a strawberry and basil cocktail:

So now we’ve given you some ideas of what you can do with strawberries, let’s showcase you some things that distillers have, and that you can have, by heading over to our shop.

Gin Ting Berries, Berries, Berries. Who has tried Gin Ting? Represent! Now, if you haven’t’, don’t worry, it’ll come in time and taste all the nicer for the wait. However, for those that have this is a really interesting one because the original Gin Ting was all passion fruit and tropical flavours this, their second release banks solely on the berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, alongside more classic gin botanicals. Enjoyable tangy, the juniper and coriander spice are juxtaposed by the bright berry sweetness. Buy it here

Two Birds Strawberry and Vanilla Gin: With this gin, the nose has sweet strawberry fruit wrapped in a vanilla blanket with juniper shimmering on the side. The palate reflects the strawberry and cream initially but the other botanicals come to the party with the smooth and silky finish. Buy it here

Casiano Rum: Natural Strawberry extracts are added to a base of high quality white rum. This mixture is left to macerate and stabilize in a stainless steel tank until it reaches the optimum condition. Buy it here

So there we are! Strawberries for everyone! Hope you have a wonderful week. Stay safe and see you next Wednesday! 

Newsletter – Beverage Day + The French 75

Newsletter – Wednesday 6th May

Happy Wednesday Team!

You may have noted our little change from Fridays to Wednesdays. I hope that works well with everyone. Whilst it’s nice to get a mail on the Friday with some excitement to set up the weekend, I can’t help but think it’s nice to get a bit of a weekend heads up, especially if there’s recipes you want to try and ingredients you need to get. This week, we’ll be looking at beverage day and of course, offering you an associated cocktail recipe and spirits that would work well for them. Plus, we held our first ever virtual event over the weekend, so let’s catch up on that quickly. Who was there? I stuck my head in on the Saturday to watch one half of Northern Epidemic doing their thing and there was a lovely sense of familiarity to the DJ set after, paying some classics from the festival. It definitely got me in the mood for a Saturday, and those of us who were present for Dan Walsh’s talk on Mumbai gin and Rascal gin were subjected to his regular high standard of masterclass, comprising his infamous dulcet tones giving some great explanations of the gins, general gin knowledge and outrageous humor. I am hoping to catch up with Dan in the coming days to write something in a little more detail so keep your eyes on our site. And heads up! We’ve got another talk this Saturday with Kuro Gin, so head over to our Facebook page for a live video at 3pm Sunday 10th May. 

So, how are we all keeping? Good I hope? Looking out for each other? Good stuff! Now this week is a bit of a strange one, moving to a Wednesday means different holiday days to take inspiration from. Now, as luck would have it, today happens to be ‘Beverage Day’, as precise and vague as it gets! So firstly, let’s find out a little about that. According to the ‘Days of the Year’ website:

“Beverages have existed, in one form or another, almost since the beginning of mankind. Of course, people had to drink something, so before there was Coca-Cola there was water, simple as that. However, as the millenia went by, people began to create new and interesting types of beverages. Today, beverages are divided into at least 19 categories including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, caffeine based beverages, barley based beverages, maize beverages, rice drinks and so on. The first recorded beers were made in ancient Egypt, where it was so weak that even children drank it. However, it is suspected that beer could date back to the Neolithic period. The world’s first coffee as we know it today is thought to have been made by a Yemeni named Omar in the 16th century. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, was created relatively recently. In the late 19th century, few among us can imagine our lives without at least one of these three beverages in it, which just goes to show how very important beverages are in our culture, and have been, for hundreds of thousands of years.”

A nice little sum up there. Looking at the etymology of the word (the history of its make up), it seems that the word beverage actually means a ‘drink of any kind’. The word dates from the mid 13th century, from Anglo-French beverage, Old French bevrage from Old French boivre which means ‘to drink’. In fact, the Modern French term boire, actually comes from the Latin term bibre ‘to imbibe’.

So, it seems appropriate to celebrate Beverage Day by looking at classic French cocktail, and one of my favourites. Simple, but totally luxurious, it’s the French 75.

The French 75 is THE cocktail I pull out for special occasions. Said to date back to WW1, and an early form from 1915, created at the New York Bar in Paris by barman Harry MacElhone, the combination of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled by the French 75mm field gun. There is an earlier history to the drink before it became its namesake, in the 19th century the combination minus the gin was called a Champagne cup and was a popular drink.

And don’t worry guys, although the traditional recipe is champagne based, I say this works just fine with prosecco. So, how about we make some? Now, I normally share recipes for cocktails and twists that I find online. But hey, hows about this week I give you my own recipe?

The French 75

Now, I would use a cocktail shaker to make the ‘base’, but if you don’t have one you can stir it up. I use a good measure of gin, somewhere inbetween a single (25ml) and a double (50ml), say 40-45ml depending on how you like it, 15ml freshly squeezed lemon juice and a dash of sugar syrup, if you’ve got some. If not, 1 – 1.5 (depending on taste) teaspoons powdered (icing sugar) will do the trick. Shake (or stir) with ice, ensuring the sugar has dissolved, and you’ve got your base. Strain into a flute and top with champagne/prosecco as to your liking and en voila! One straight up, amazing fresh drink to make you feel like royalty. To make it even more special, you could always add a small twist of lemon to the top, garnish really does make the difference to the final effect so don’t be lazy now, you should have some lemon left so give it a go.

And the important question, what gins would you use with this? Well, this is a difficult one to answer, because you could go all sorts of ways with it. As a safe bet, any gin that is built around citrus is going to work with this, but you can experiment. Gins have an element of citrus to them, so it’s hard to go too wrong, perhaps remember that there is a sweet element to this cocktail so don’t go with anything too savoury or herbaceous or it could taste a little funky…although saying that grapefruit goes brilliantly with rosemary so some savoury gins would work. It’s really just a case of trying it out. To give you a starting point, I’ve pulled out three from our collection that should do a pretty good job:

Rascal Gin – Care of our own Daniel Walsh, Rascal Gin would give an excellent twist to this cocktail. Passionfruit and raspberry take classic citrus to another level. Premium strength no added sugar. A must try for any Pornstar fans. Plus, I believe there is a second Rascal out now with added notes of Blood Orange, which would give your French 75 some extra oomph. Buy it here

Malfy Con Limone Italian Gin – A staple lemon based offering, this gin would marry in super easily to your cocktail. Malfy Gin is an Italian gin made using a selection of six botanicals, as well as an infusion of lemons, including some from the Almalfi coast. Buy it here

Wenneker Elderflower Gin – Lemon and Elderflower, what a wonderful combination. And with the French 75s lush sweet citrus element, the addition of elderflower would lift that flavour and add an element of complexity with those floral notes. Wenneker is an elderflower based gin. To create the fragrant tipple, they combine distillates of six botanicals – juniper, lime-tree blossom, orange, lemon, coriander, and (obvious) elderflower. Buy it here

So there we are! Hope you enjoyed this Wednesday edition, a little bit of education in there, and a delightful cocktail too. Have a great weekend and hopefully see you at the Kuro gin talk, 3pm this Sunday (10th May) on our fb page.

Big love, stay safe!

Newsletter – No Pants Day

Newsletter – Friday 17th April

Well hey there team, Happy Friday!

Hope you guys are doing well out there in the world. How are we all feeling? Looking after each other, I hope?

Well it’s a rather pleasant ‘holiday’ day today, and one that we’re probably getting more and more used to. It’s officially No Pants Day. Whilst it’s taken from the American term and therefore means pants only, this fits nicely in with a lovely Finnish word and one of my favourite hobbies. Kalsarikänni is the art of drinking alone at home in your underwear and I can’t help but feel this is something that most of us can relate to right now. The good news is this is a Finnish pastime and not a sign that things are getting too much (keeping things in moderation of course), so if you’re doing the whole isolating/social distancing on your todd right now, I’d suggest this could be something to make your afternoon that little bit special.

And, as always, I’m here to help with some of the best drinks you can treat yourself too if you’re taking the day to acknowledge a little Finnish culture. Apparently it’s a way to cope with the long dark winters. So, in the honor of this wonderful past-time, I’m going to treat you to something a little special, the Finnish long drink. You may be familiar with Long Drinks, or essentially a spirit with mixer, rather than a shooter. Gin and Tonic, Rum and Cola, these sorts of drinks are known as Long Drinks. The Finnish Long Drink is predominantly made with gin and grapefruit but there are some great twists out there including cranberry and lime. The ABV averages somewhere between 5-8%.  Interestingly, if you go to Finland, chances are you’ll find this on draft in a bar, sign me up! I’m definitely keen to take a trip to Finland when we’re set free again! If you’d like to find out a little more about it, you can check out this article by renowned gin expert and friend Aaron Knoll. His blog, The Gin Is In, is one to follow for any gin fan and has inspired me to make a post of ‘blogs you need to read’. Keep your eyes out for this, gin and rummers, it’ll be your one stop list of all the blogs you need to read re gin and rum.

So, what gins can we at the Gin and Rum Festival offer to make a good Long Drink? I’ve got a few suggestions of one swe can offer:

Rarebird London Dry: Smooth Taste with Innovative fresh flavours. Distilled with a selection of the world’s finest botanicals including juniper, rosemary, hibiscus and citrus. Why do I think this one will work well, simple. Rosemary and citrus. Rosemary is a magnificent accompaniment to grapefruit.

McQueen and the Violet Fog: Made in small batches in a single copper pot over in the hills of Jundai, Brazil. It contains 21 botanicals, including handpicked Indian Basil leaves, Portugese rosemary, Mediterrainian fennel seed, calamansi from the South Pacfic and Vietnamese star anise. This not only goes well but one of you lucky lot will have recently one a bottle from us, so this one goes out to you!

Sacred Old Tom: This high-interpretation of the 18th century staple. With bold notes of Juniper and naturally sweet Liquorice Root, alongside a modern flourish of vaccum-distilled Spanish Sweet Orange Peels. I’m a big fan of the Sacred range and separately a big fan of Old Toms as they’ve got an immensely interesting history so I am all over this. The thing with the Old Tom is they are mostly sweeter than traditional dry gins, so that sweetness workings brilliantly with the sharpness of the grapefruit.

That’s a great set there. Add grapefruit, take off those trousers or skirt and relax into a little bit of Finnish culture. Ole hyvä. You’re welcome.

Hope you have a great week!

Big love


Newsletter – Good Friday

Newsletter – Friday 10th April

Happy Friday Team! And Happy Good Friday to you too!

And here we are, edging through the weeks, patiently waiting to pick up from where we left off. I don’t know about you, but during these difficult times I’ve taken great pleasure in picking up some things that I just didn’t have the time for before. Baking, gardening and learning the keyboard have been thoroughly enjoyable things to spend time. How are you all doing? And what have you been having a go at whilst passing the time?

So, it’s Good Friday. And, although a lot of us are at home at the moment, it’s important to snatch this opportunity to make the day a little special. And I’ve got some top tips on how to. First things first, I’ve found it’s all about replicating that bit of normality as much as you can. If you normally spend the Easter weekend with your family, how about you organise a video call? If you normally sit round the table together, you might not be able to do that, but perhaps you could. Organise a video call for the pudding, and sit the phone at one end of the table so it feels the same? Do you normally take the opportunity for a bit of DIY or gardening? Well you can still do that. You may not be able to take a trip out to get some materials, but I’ll bet you’ve got some stuff around your place that you can put to good use. If you’ve got kids, now’s a great time to get out the arts and crafts. Plus, if you’re a rum fan then do keep your eye out for our social media on Monday, we’ve got a great little competition for you.

Now, for this week’s drinks. There are so many amazing Easter Cocktails out there! I’ve found a few crackers to share below and I’d also like to focus on the ‘Good Friday’ and some interesting twists we can put on this by using some flavoured gins instead of aperol.

So first up, Easter Cocktails! 

And for our showcase this week we’ve got some fabulous Easter cocktails for you!

For those chocholics out there, here’s a cracker of a recipe from Prima, bringing rum into the mix to create a cocktail from a true easter favourite.

A bit of a wildcard, this. But, I just couldn’t resist the recipe from Lidl. It can use any classic gin, and a nice way to use any leftover sherry from Christmas, plus drinks so often use the egg white and it’s really interesting to see something using the yolk!

And although we’re due some great weather, here’s a little something just in case the rain comes. Care of Butternut Mountain Farm, here’s a really simple but lovely recipe for something a little more warming.

And secondly, the Good Friday. Now, I found this cocktail care of an Australian website that posted it way back in 2013. Firstly, check out the recipe here care of Pola Dot Bride’s make it yourself section:

Now, cocktails are a creative thing, and as much as you want recipes to have a go out and make yourself, it’s also worth remembering that you can twist and remake the drinks in all sorts of different ways, inventiveness is the key to a good cocktail. So with that in mind. I wanted to give you a showcase of 3 different flavoured gins that would work really well:

Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin: From the Sacred craft distillery in Highgate comes the Pink Grapefruit Gin, made using every but of the grapefruit, from the flesh to the peel even to the pips! It may sound obvious, but by golly does this have some phenomenal pink grapefruit flavours. Grab a bottle here

Sanction Pomegranate and Jasmin Gin: Sanction Pomegranate and Jasmin presents a fruity forward taste with a delicate floral aftertaste. Buy it here

KURO Peach Gin: A premium flavoured gin with a deliciously fruity Japanese inspired twist from KURO Gin. Plenty of peach flavours running through this one. Smooth and sweet, with plenty of soft peach notes and hints of floral juniper. Get a bottle

So there we have it! Hope this has given you a little something ex

tra for the long weekend. Whatever you are doing, we hope you have a wonderful time. Happy Easter!

Stay safe, big love


COVID-19 Statement from The Gin and Rum Festival

Covid-19 Statement from the Gin and Rum Festival 

Here at The Gin and Rum Festival, we would like to thank you for your continued support throughout this difficult time. As you will appreciate, we have been working very hard over the last 12 months to prepare for our festivals, working alongside local and national distillers to bring our customers the best possible gin and rum experience.

It is with deepest regret that The Gin and Rum Festival have decided to take all necessary precautions for our staff and customers and as a result have postponed the following festivals until later on in the year.

Manchester 27th/28th March 2020 – NEW DATE 4th/5th September 2020
Norwich 3rd/4th April 2020 – NEW DATE 3rd/4th July 2020
London 17th/18th April 2020 – NEW DATE 23rd/24th October 2020
Derby 6th June/13th November 2020(Derby Cathedral) – NEW DATE 7th November 2020 (Derby Roundhouse)
Swindon 6th/7th November 2020- NEW DATE 5th/6th March 2021
Nottingham 4th July 2020 – NEW DATE 20th February 2021

Any delay in notifying customers has been purely to ensure we have everything in place and are following the most recent government guidelines before notifying the public of our plans moving forward. As you will appreciate, this has caused a number of complications regarding venues and traders, and we have not taken this decision lightly.

All tickets will be automatically transferred to the newly scheduled 2020 dates. In the event that you cannot attend this new date, then your ticket can be transferred to a different location entirely for all 2020 and future 2021 festivals (2021 dates TBC).

As a small business, these are uncertain times to navigate and we ask for your kindness and understanding at this time.

Many kind regards

G&R Festival Team

If you have any questions please email us at

Newsletter – Floral Design Day

Newsletter – Friday 28th February 

Happy Friday Team!

I hope that you’re all good and have enjoyed the slow march towards, well March. February may have been some of the wettest and most miserable weather we’ve seen for some time. Thank goodness Spring is on the way and we will (fingers crossed) be seeing an improvement on this horrendous weather!

So, this week we’re celebrating Floral Design Day! A lovely day of the year for celebrating the beauty of flowers and the craftmanship of design. Now this really does go hand in with a rather special gin that we have here at the Gin and Rum Festival. It’s available to buy from our online shop as well as events themselves, and it’s a gin with a little bit of magic. May I introduce to you, Empress 1908 Gin.

Empress 1908 Gin is made by Victoria Distilleries in British Columbia. And, is inspired by the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The idea was to make a traditional gin with a modern twist, akin to the hotel, and they have certainly done that. A strong juniper led base also carries botanicals such as ginger, tea and a little bit of magic in the form of butterfly pea flower, a botanical added after distillation that gives the gin it’s beautiful indigo hue. The magic comes with a little bit of citrus, so in G&T, the addition of tonic water changes the PH and changes the colour from that deep indigo to a luscious pink. As well as being a showstopper for colour, it’s a great all rounder for a gin. Ticking 3 important boxes it works in Martinis, G&Ts and other cocktails too.

You’ll find this gin on our World Gin Bar and at our shop here:

And just to really showcase this gins capability, I’ve hunted out some of my favourite cocktail recipes from the gin’s website. The links are below, but to be honest, I would urge you to look through them all, they really are quite beautiful.

First up, the Empress Lavender Lemonade. With a beautiful fade from blue, purple, pink to orange then yellow, this is a front cover thing. It combines floral lavender honey along with old school lemonade. I can imagine these flavours smooth out the juniper forward notes into something quite spectacular.

Secondly, the Cucumber Blue. This is a smooth, cool cocktail, perfectly displayed by its blue green hue. Made with cucumber, basil and mint, this will be heaven sent in the summer months so you keep this recipe safe, or just knock up a few now.

And last, and by no means least, the Royal Treatment. As if the gin wasn’t special enough, this cocktail, made with white cranberry juice, sparkling wine and generous fruit garnish gives it that little bit extra for those who need some pampering.

So there we have it for Empress 1908.

Another gin that we carry that I’d like to introduce you to is Highfield Bramble Gin. Highfield are a family run business located in South Derbyshire. Their Bramble Gin is lovely, a really good blend of sweet and sour, which is just want you want with bramble. Bramble is a really popular flavour with gin lovers, being the namesake of popular cocktail, the ‘Bramble’. Brambles are ultimately comprised of gin, crème de mure, lemon and sugar syrup. So the basis of the cocktail is that twist between sweet and sour. With Highfield Bramble a gin and tonic with a lemon garnish is going to be very like and much simpler to make, so if you’re a fan of a Bramble, then perhaps Highfield Bramble Gin is the one for you!

Happy last day of February everyone! And Happy Floristry Design Day too! Hope you have a fab weekend and I’ll be seeing you next week for some frozen fruit specials and some info on the local brands you’ll be seeing at our Northampton event.

Big love, Bernadette and G&R