The Telegraph Gin Experience stands out amongst the plethora of gin fairs and festivals that we see today.
This year the Experience took place at London’s premier members club, The Hurlingham. We wandered through lush gardens – enjoying a greeting from a peacock strutting across the sun-bleached cricket fields – and arrived at the beautiful Georgian mansion.
We received a warm welcome from Amy Collins, Events Assistant at The Telegraph, and were gifted our tasting glasses and a colourful, glossy programme of the events.
Stepping into the large, bright conservatory we were greeted to our version of a sweetie shop – from classic British Gins to new and craft international gins, gin liqueurs and an impressive array of tonics. Despite the selection of over 80 gins and tonics the room was carefully managed to avoid feeling crowded, with dining times and masterclasses spread across the day to keep us flowing.
We quickly met Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley – the seasoned writers and commentators on fine spirits and cocktails – who are working on an exciting project that we look forward to seeing come to fruition!
It was a pleasure to see Scottish gins prominently represented at this premium event: Caorunn, Eden Mill, Edinburgh Gin, Persie Gin, Rock Rose and Verdant.
Whilst we’re familiar with their delicious core ranges and expressions (it’s a tough gig) we were delighted to see some new product on show for consumers. We’re
seeing a continuation of the trend for expanding ranges with Navy Strength and Old Tom gins which is excellent news – ensuring that Scottish Gins remain competitive on cocktail menus around the world. Another exciting development is the growing range of ready to drink (or “RTD”) products – canned gin and tonics or premixed cocktails.
As well as meeting distillers and sampling gins, there was plenty of opportunity to continue our learning. Masterclasses included “Around the World in Five Gins” and “Unlock Taste – Creating Your Perfect Serves”. We were delighted to attend an event by the headline partners, Fever-Tree, titled “The Hunt for the Perfect G&T”. In this multi-sensory class, which felt more like a fireside chat, Craig (a fellow Scot) shared with us the fascinating lengths that Fever-Tree go to around the globe to provide the perfect mixers. In a range that now spans 13 products, we were most taken with the aromatic tonic which paired perfectly with a robust, juniper-led gin.
After our masterclass, we stepped out into the gardens to enjoy the sunshine and reflect on the day. A rummage through our goodie bags – available to all Telegraph attendees – revealed such goodies as Thomas Fudge’s biscuits and Katie Leamon stationery.
Over a Speakeasy Icecream (Speakeasy Icecream infused with Ableforth’s Cherry Brandy, Bathtub Gin and Rumbullion!), we agreed that this Experience is unique. From start to finish, we felt like pampered and honoured guests even as we explored the Experience incognito. Every detail had been catered to and whilst the Experience is a little more pricey than some gin events, we think it is worth every single penny.
Since its inception in 2014, The Telegraph Bespoke has hosted over 25 events from a Rugby Captain’s Dinner and afternoon tea with Mary Berry to high-end whisky tastings. The Telegraph Gin Experience runs every year but if you can’t wait that long, we recommend checking out their Cocktail Experience on 11 October 2018.
Tickets for the Telegraph Cocktail Experience are available here.