Hey there! I'm Annabel, a gin enthusiast and judge, home bartender and foodie. Take a browse for all things gin, cocktail recipes, bars and restaurants and much more...
Aside from the OG gin boom in the 18th century (and its sudden collapse following the Gin Act 1751), 2008 marked the start of the gin craze as we know it today, all thanks to SipSmith Gin who led a petition to change the law which originally saw licences only available for 1,800L+ stills. This paved the way for our favourite local small-batch craft distillers to begin their gin journeys.
In 2020, there were well over 500 distilleries in the UK and this figure continues to grow. For those already producing gin, you'll see distillers exploring ''styles'' of gin such as London Dry, Navy Strength, Old Tom, Compound, Contemporary, Spiced, Aged, as well as gin liqueurs. You'll also see vermouths, aperitifs, hard seltzers, pre-mixed cocktails, non-alcoholic products and low ABV products, flavoured mixers including tonics, sodas and lemonades, CBD products and also other spirits from our craft distillers.
With so many combinations, it's easy to see how this versatile liquid is so popular.
I was actually quite late to the party, arriving in 2015 with a Gordons and tonic. Not so 'craft'. I was working at a Gordon's Gin pop-up bar at Goodwood racecourse serving up G&Ts. Looking back it was busy, but it would be a lot more popular today. Since discovering gin for myself, I began exploring the small-batch gins which I know and love today. This mainly included local distillers in the South Coast of England and strangely distillers who are up in the Highlands of Scotland and couldn't be further away. (Side note: Scotland make some of the most incredible gin and they have a lot of distilleries. Why? Because they make a lot of whiskey, but whiskey takes at least 3 years and gin on the other hand can be produced in day. I'm not that patient either.)
Anyway, I began blogging in 2019 using Instagram and Facebook and since then I've grown my gin collection to over 200 bottles, met some incredible people, visited gin school, attended gin events and distilleries, judged at The Gin Guide Awards 2020 and made a charity gin in aid of Key Workers and the NHS.
So what now? In the last few months, as lockdown has eased I've been starting to attend events again, as well as bars and restaurants. My passion for gin is definitely about the craft nature and unique back story but it's also heavily about the ingredients and cocktail making. I approach cooking and mixing cocktails in the same way, it's all about the flavour combinations. I cannot recommend this book enough: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flavour-Thesaurus-Niki-Segnit/dp/0747599777 So, as well as details on my gin-adventures, my website also contains recipes, restaurant experiences and food/drink pairings.