As a group, we had decided on “The Next Bottle” as a name on the point of principle that we’re not going to stick solely to one type of beverage, and last week, we lived up to the name with our Gin & Travel event, where we headed down to Wied iż-Żurrieq and we set up for a gin tasting session in a setting that not even we expected to be quite so enchanting.
Though this was still our third public event, we’re already getting used to some faces (which we hope to get used to plenty more), but there were also some freshers who, dare we say, left entertained and looking forward to our next events.
Also, Emann had presented our first two events given his background in the catering industry, though this time hetook on cooking responsibilities for the night and Michela stepped forward into the spotlight. Despite some initial nerves, she quickly showed that she’s more than capable of capturing the attention and delivering the message in an entertaining way and without compromising any of the knowledge we look to share.
Our first gin took us to London, as we tasted the Slingsby London Dry Gin – considering that the Brits popularised the drink after their time in the Netherlands and is now the country probably associated the most with gin. The Slingsby varation is citrus-based, with some hints of juniper and also green tea. By now, some guests more versed in the gin world were used to this taste and were not quite so surprised by what they tasted, but they were still curious and keen to learn more.
An ocean and half a continent away, the following gin was Dictador Ortodoxy, a rum cask-aged Colombian gin, which caught pretty much all of us off guard with its different taste, but was still deemed our favourite of the night. The mixture of berries, roots, mint, lemon and more, and with spice in all the right places, this is a gin that fully deserves its Premium title.
Whilst tasting and discussing the elements of each gin, guests who had seen the menu beforehand were eagerly looking towards the cooking station, eagerly waiting for the next dish almost as much as the next drink!
The Nordés Galician gin was possibly the strongest aroma wise, with a very particular smell of lavender, that although one whiff would get your attention, it was a bit overpowering on the palate with strong hints of liquorice and hibiscus amongst others. Another factor is that Albariño grapes are used as opposed to the grains more often used for spirits. At this point, people started to discuss not solely amongst their own tables, but also with their neighbours, which was exactly what we wanted to see.
A uniquely coloured gin, Ungava is a Canadian gin gets its vibrant hue from the post-distillation maceration of wild rose hips and cloudberry in particular. Make no mistake, this gin is a reward for those who chose to expand their horizons and embrace what lies beyond “normal”. Smooth, fresh and floral, this is a gin that’s quite simply easy to enjoy.
The twist to the night came after all four gins had been tasted, where the guests could choose any two of the gins available and taste it as part of a gin-tonic cocktail. The two favourites, the Dictador and the Ungava, were garnished with cinnamon and mint, and cucumber respectively. Expertly mixed by Daniela, who had been serving the drinks throughout the night along with Kevin, these two deserve special mention for the hard work they put in to set up the event, source the gins and ensure a smooth running throughout the night and beyond.
And as that last note draws this post to a close, our next event is set for 17th October at Diar il-Bniet once again, where we’ve got a “blind” tasting of Italian wines. Here, you the guests will have different glasses of wine to try, and determined by taste and smell, one wine will prevail over another until we find the “Re del Vino” for the night!
For event information, drop us a message on our Facebook or event page directly, where you can find out exactly how to book your spot!
Cheers, and until we clink glasses again!