All about that gin lyfe – Gin Festival 2017

All about that gin lyfe – Gin Festival 2017

So, I know I’m an eco enthusiast, but as you can tell from my name I’m a bit of a wild child at heart; and with those wild child vibes comes my love of the gin. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Gin Festival at Portsmouth Guildhall and had an amazing time with my dear pal and fellow blogger, Vicky Flipflop (you can read about her experience here). The Gin Festival is a national event, going to many different cities across the country and this was it’s third time back in Portsmouth.

The layout

The Gin Festival was spread-out into three different rooms:

Main room: Four different sections of gin separated into categories of  tastes or where they are created (A/B/C/D):

A – UK gin

B – UK gin (dry)

C – European gin

D – Liqueur gin

Smaller room: You could sample some amazing gins FOR FREE, with or without tonic (or try with and without), as well as a cocktail bar if your taste buds prefer a gin cocktail, to just g&t

Lecture theatre: Upstairs in the Zodiac lounge you could sit down and be schooled by some gin experts, about gin history and of course their favourite gins and the gin companies they work for. Without a doubt my favourite was Tinker Gin, where Bernadette from ‘Under the ginfluence‘ ( blog educated us passed around some tasty gin.

Outside space: Next to the smaller room you could pop outside to one of the two food stalls and grab a bite to eat, have a sit down in the sunshine, or enjoy a rather bizarre milk gin punch! I say bizarre as it’s not the sort of thing us gin lovers may be used to, however it’s actually a very traditional recipe which pre-dates gin and tonic. It’s a combo of gin, citrus, sugar, spices and milk!

The Gins

I managed to sample around 10 gins that day (oops!). In order to buy the gin you need to get tokens in exchange for cash. The gins were priced at a fiver each, or gin cocktails at £10. All gins came with recommended Fever-Tree tonics which would best accompany the taste.

So, I thought I’d give you a breakdown of my top gin brands I tried over the course of the day (links to Ginfestival site for purchasing included!). In no particular order:


Light and refreshing. British made with a Spanish influence.

CONKER GIN & Conker Cold Press Coffee liqueur

One of my absolute favourites. Dorset based company and the gin exudes notes of elderberries, samphire and gorse flowers. Yum. They also had samples of their cold press coffee liqueur which I’ve been told is a game changer for tiramisu and makes a great affogato (sold).


A liqueur gin from Manchester. Oranges, lime, lemon and vanilla. Best paired with fever-tree indian tonic


I love this gin. Not only is it delicious, it’s not your usual gin as it tastes wonderfully of blueberries and blackberries. Their brand in also themed around burlesque and S&M. If that’s your kind of thing. Naughty and nice.


Perhaps one of the better known gins, Pinkster has a delightful fruity flavour made with five botanicals including raspberries. It’s also 100% gluten free.


I may be a little biased here, as I grew-up on the Isle of Wight, but this gin is wonderful. It’s slightly sweet, with citrus and peppery tones.


Quite a full-bodied gin, they really focus on the juniper aromas, with hints of citrus, coriander, cloves and cardamon. Nice.


Another gin liqueur, this one tasted like an alcoholic apple and blackberry crumble in your mouth. I had with some tonic, but I think just on the rocks would be nicer?


Made in Germany, inspired by Africa, with 15% of proceeds going to support African elephant charities. At 45%, it’s a strong one, but it’s very crisp and has floral tones with a bit of a kick!


London based gin, created by gin without boarders. It’s strong and fruity, with citrus and herb tones.


The Gin Festival was a fun and surprisingly educational day out and would 110% go again. The atmosphere was electric , staff and customers alike were happy and friendly and left feeling content and maybe (slightly) tipsy. Not only was there gin, but there were gin cocktails, demos, mini seminars, a photo-booth (fancy dress times!) and a stand to buy bottles of gin and gin themed merchandise (think coasters, mugs, glasses etc.).

You can find out more about the Gin Festival and when they’ll be in your city next here:

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All photographs by me, unless I'm in them, those are down to Vicky Flipflop Travels.

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