On Saturday evening I attended the Gin Festival held at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. I’m not a huge Gin drinker and normally only drink Gin in some form of cocktail but I was really excited to broaden my alcohol horizons and attempt to become a Gin connoisseur. I have attended many events at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea and it really is the perfect venue, with a grand hall and large stage area it suited the event perfectly. There were 4 sessions available over the course of the weekend and I opted for the Saturday evening which ended up being sold out. I had no idea so many people liked Gin!
The Gin Festival & How it Works
Upon arrival you will be given your swoon worthy Gin Festival glass which you use throughout the event for all your drinks. The Gin Festival glass is yours to keep after the event too so keep it safe! You will also be given a Gin Festival brochure which tells you about all the different gins and where to find them at the venue. This guide is your bible for the evening and helps you decide what Gin to try next. Drinks are purchased with tokens to make the bar system move smoothly. Each token is worth £5 and this will get you a single measure of your chosen Gin, a garnish and your choice of Fever-Tree mixer. You can also get Gin cocktails for 2 tokens.
When we arrived at the Gin Festival there was a short queue to get in but this moved pretty quickly. We were handed our Gin Festival glass and brochure and we headed straight into the main hall. There were already quite a few people in the hall and there was a buzz of people chatting away enjoying themselves. I went straight to get my Gin tokens so I could get my drink on. My first choice of Gin took no deliberation at all, I opted for ‘Puerto De Indias Strawberry Gin ‘ purely because it was pink! The handy Gin brochure tells you which Fever Tree Tonic it is best paired with. This particular Gin was recommended to drink with the Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic. I had a sip of the Gin before adding the tonic and it was really nice a little bit sweet and not too sharp. Perfect for a newbie to Gin. Once I added the Mediterranean Tonic that’s when it when downhill for me. I definitely am not a tonic water drinker and I couldn’t get used to how sharp the drink tasted. I never turn down alcohol though and still managed to drink the whole thing.
We decided to take a wander into one of the other rooms at the venue and this is where the cocktail bar, gin tasting and masterclasses could be found. I didn’t get the chance to try a cocktail but the cocktail bar was very popular and there was always a queue for drinks. We had a wander around the Gin Tasting tables which were quite crowded but we did manage to sample some of the Brockmans Gin which had a real kick to it, it was very rich in taste and left that almost burning sensation in the throat.
My next Gin of choice was again Pink and was from ‘5th Fire’. This Gin was much sweeter and lighter than others I had tried and was much easier to drink. I decided to go against the recommended Fever Tree Lemon Tonic and paired the gin with lemonade instead. Now this combination I could have happily drunk all night. If your a newbie to Gin like myself then I would 100% recommend this pairing
Overall myself and Gavin had a really good evening and it’s something I would definitely do again. This type of event suits all party sizes and there were a lot of large groups of friends and work colleagues enjoying the event also. I’m definitely taking the girls along next time!
If you are interested in attending the Gin Festival they have events all up and down the UK. If you are new to gin or a gin connoisseur they really do have something for everyone.