LIFESTYLE EVENT: The London Spirit Show, Business Design Centre, Angel, 19/05/15
We were lucky enough to be invited along to the beautiful Business Design Centre in Angel, Islington, recently for the best reason ever: free booze! This is not a drill. On Thursday 19th May, we got a sneak press preview and a chance to rub shoulders with London’s best cocktail bars and top premium spirit business moguls, who will be showcasing their amazing alcohols at The London Spirit Show, coming in December 2016.
With £200m spent in the run up to Christmas there is a massive demand for premium spirits and at The Spirit Show, you can taste them all. The show will be a chance for consumers to meet the faces behind featured premium suppliers from Ian Macleoud Distillers to crowd favourite, Curio Gin.
It’s true that you’re more likely to find us sipping Lemmy’s at CroBar or sampling local brews at Brew Dog, so when we arrived at the plush venue and saw suited waiters handing out canapés and smoking cocktails in the corner, across champagne flutes, over gentle jazz, we felt a bit out of place. However, with the alcohol flowing we soon worked the room and met the interesting and lovely people behind our favourite brands of the night.
Always a fan of the alternative things in life, we turned our attentions straight to sponsors Curio Gin and their weird and wonderful flavours and twists to the classic spirit. Our favourite ‘sip’ of the night from their new collection was their Cardamom flavour. It shouldn’t have worked but it gave a fruity yet brutally sharp flavour that we definitely could have gotten used to. Not ready to mix quite yet as the night was still early, we moved onto the rival gin stand from Dunnet Bay Distillers and their addition, Rock Rose, where we undertook a journey into the origins and flavours of gin as well as a generous glug. This gin is brewed in the Scottish highlands and as well as embodying the vastly complicated spice base which includes coriander, this Scottish blend adds its own twist by adding hints of rose for a smoother, floral note. It was hands down the best gin of the evening.
Feeling nicely buzzed (and educated), we fancied something a little more dramatic and turned our attention and tastebuds to Mixology Group‘s stand and their smoking cocktails. This cocktail, which the very attentive bar tender deconstructed for us, was like a song and dance in a cup. With rose petals, fresh basil and of course more gin, lashed over tonic and a river of dry ice, it was the fanciest thing we’ve let pass our lips. Although delicious, at £12 RRP at the bar, it was a little over ambitious and a wolf in sheep’s clothing to a classic gin and tonic.
The atmosphere of the evening was lovely and everyone had a smile on their face (although that could have been all the booze). Our favourite faces and business of the night were Rebel Distillers, new to the scene and fronted by founders Matt McGivern and Dylan Bell, who also happens to be the drummer for recent chart sensations Year and Years. These down to Earth guys are creating a product that we can’t wait for: a currently illegal and delicious Irish moonshine! The ‘exiled spirit’, formally known as Poitin, was first produced by monks 300 years ago and banned because of its strength. Being rebranded as the new bad boy alcohol on the scene, Rebel Rabbet, the boys are legalising it and bringing it to the market and we can’t wait to try it. Watch this space!
With places to join this prestigious event in December at a costly rate with the reward of showcasing their spririts to an expected audience of 10,000 consumers, we aren’t guaranteed to see all the great brands we met there. However, if the press event was anything to go by, the brands will be of high quality and it really will be an impressive Spirit Show and one not to be missed.
So if you love alcohol (and not just gin), put the dates 9th-10th December in your diary and you will definitely see our faces when it rolls around!
Written By: Charly Phillips