Last night saw the DesignMyNight team join some of Manchester's most enthusiastic gin drinkers for an education in G'Vine Gin at The Blue Pig.
Run by G'Vine's Paul Pavli with the help of Drinks Enthusiast Dave Marsland, the event was an opportunity to learn all about this unique botanical French gin, which is apparently the first gin made from grape spirit, with the rare vine flower being a starring ingredient.
The evening kicked off, as many good evenings should, with a Gin and Tonic. But unlike any G&T I've tasted before, this drink combined G'Vine Nouaison gin with delicious 1724 tonic water for a fresh, floral take on the traditional beverage. If there's one thing I took away from this evening (apart from a bit of a hangover), it's to be choosy with my tonics from now on. Paul stressed over and again the importance of brand calling both the gin and the tonic when ordering a G&T at a bar - something I'll certainly be doing from now on.
After an interesting talk on the colourful history of gin, we sampled two types of G'Vine gin - the smooth, floral Floraison and the silky, spicy Nousaison. Each is crafted with 10 different botanicals including the extremely rare vine flower, which apparently only blossoms for a few days each year.
And then came the food. We'd been told that there'd be canapes to complement the flavours of the gin; and were delighted to be treated to a selection of French delicacies including l'escargot, frogs legs and that traditional gin accompaniment, crocodile. Ooh la la. Not what we were expecting - but a welcome experience that emphasised the origins of this unique French spirit.
The night ended on a bit of a sour note (in the best possible sense), with Negroni cocktails all round - G'Vine Floraison blended with Campari and Sweet Vermouth.
Thanks to Paul and The Blue Pig for an enjoyable and informative evening of gin, and for the sore heads in the office this morning.
The next spirit tasting event at The Blue Pig is the Excellia Tequila event on July 16th. See you there!