Gin. Lover or a hater? Or not entirely sure where you stand with the spirit? Lucky for you, Leeds is full of gin bars, serving up fruity funky concoctions like nobody’s business, and one very huge Gin Festival.
To be fair, pretty much most bars in Leeds have joined the gin hype, dedicating sections of their menus to cocktails and long drinks.The most simplistic and enjoyable serve for me with gin is anything elderflower. Sweet and refreshing. Yet when I’m out and about, there’s nothing simple about the way I like my gin.
With simple serves I can do at home, my out-out kind of drink should be full of wonder and deliciousness, or ingredients I’d never consider mixing.
This year, the Gin Festival came back to Leeds, and may I say, it’s just another nice little tick towards why living in Leeds is awesome.One full weekend, at the gorgeous Town Hall, dedicated to tasting and enjoying gins. Some of which are completely exclusive to the festival, others that showcase the Yorkshire distilleries, and others you might simply have never heard of before.100 gins ready at your service. It quite simply is a festival of gin-fuelled fun. With a brochure to explain where to go to drink what, a bowl of a glass and an almighty carrying bag for the gin glass, the session could begin.
I’ve mentioned before how amazing it is that Yorkshire distilleries are cropping up, and again, had the pleasure of meeting the folk behind Harrogate gin, whose bottle design is the cutest otter ever. Some of my gin favourites are the Slingsby, Bathtub and Brockmans.The Brockmans was, in fact, the first tipple I had, fruity and refreshing. It was served with pink grapefruit, blueberries and elderflower Fever-Tree tonic. Delightful.
And upon studying the gin guide, it was the Black Tomato Gin that caught my interest. The name is exactly what’s inside the bottle. Gin that is quite simply made out of tomatoes. How interesting? Certainly, at the next opportunity, this gin shall be tried.Representing Scotland in the gin market is Edinburgh Gin, a distillery combining flavours that sound absolutely amazing, for which I sadly didn’t have enough time to try all of them. Plus we cycled there, so we had to be very responsible. Yet, how tasty does elderflower, or plum and vanilla, or rhubarb and ginger sound for infused gins?
Recently, as well though, I’ve had homemade sloe gin, a complete game changer to how I would have considered drinking gin. More like a liqueur than a spirit, never would I have thought that gin would be such an easy tipple by itself. It’s completely inspired me to make my own sloe gin, a perfect evening sip to warm you up now that the colder days are coming.
I also spotted a fantastic recipe on the Gin Festival blog for Mulled Sloe Gin. What perfect timing on the lead-up Autumn and Christmas? I mean, surely now that it’s dark when we leave work, it’s okay to whip out the mulled wine recipes, right?