Hiya again everyone! How was your weekend? It feels kind of a let down to be back to the usual spring weather that we expect here in the UK – rain rain and more rain. Well, at least, that’s what it is here in Lisburn today. I may have been slightly guilty of getting a little too much sun on Saturday, but it was heartbreaking to wake up to the rain on Sunday.
Some of you on Twitter may remember me tweeting a little last Tuesday about being at the Portobello Road Gin launch in Belfast last week. Or you could’ve seen it on my Instagram probably. Either way, yes I was invited to the Portobello Road Gin launch event in Belfast last week and I had a fab time.
Tuesday saw the start of the better weather, so to put on some summery clothes and head into Belfast to meet Gill from Eyeliner Flicks before we both went to the event. I don’t really “do” showing up to things alone, so when Gill offered to meet outside I was so happy I didn’t have to walk in alone!
So the event was taking place in Revolution de Cuba, and when we first walked in we were sort of unsure where to go. Luckily, one of the managers saw us hovering at the door and was happy to take us upstairs where we were introduced to Tom and Becky. Tom very kindly handed us a lovely looking gin and tonic, and we went to sit and chat before it all started. After a few minutes of looking around and saying hi to a few people, we started to look at the page in front of us with all these cute looking images on it, and a small glass set on top. Of course, I was wearing contact lenses so was leaning in to try and read the writing… this was when I smelt the gin in the glass. Damn it smelt strong!
Soon Tom moved to centre stage so to speak to give us a brief history of gin in general, an insight into how Portobello Road Gin became the gin it is today, and a little more about the company overall too. I can’t share the full talk with you all, but I have managed to get my hands on the press release, so I’ll just pop it below for any of you who would like to have a read about Portobello Road Gin.
Portobello Road 171 London Dry Gin is crafted and distilled by the chaps behind London’s famed Ginstitute, which is located on their iconic namesake road. The growth within the Northern Ireland market forms part of an international expansion plan for the gin, which is leading the current ‘ginaissance’ with its juniper forward flavour profile that is balanced by eight additional botanicals.
Northern Ireland’s gin connoisseurs can enjoy the Capital Bracer at a selection of Belfast’s top bars, including Muriels, Revolution De Cuba and The Merchant Hotel.
Established in 2011, Portobello Road Gin has quickly established itself as a favourite amongst connoisseurs, consumers, bartenders and gin fans around the world. Receiving its first gold medal in 2013 and collecting awards ever since, the brand continues to grow from strength-to-strength.
On the front of the palate, Portobello Road Gin has a generous slug of juniper, the mid-palate has a sustained, fresh citrus character from the use of lemon, bitter orange and coriander, which then develops into a sweet peppery finish, which is achieved by the use of licorice and nutmeg, while cassia bark lends a sweet spice note that enables the drier elements to shine through.
Most recently, Portobello Road Gin launched its much-anticipated venture, The Distillery, in December 2016. The unique, four-floor concept appeals to budding connoisseurs and gin lovers alike, combining two bars, a museum, premium off-license, as well as three boutique guest rooms overlooking London’s iconic market street of Portobello Road. The Distillery also serves as the new home of The Ginstitute where ‘gintern’ are invited to create their very own unique gin over the course of a 3-hour masterclass.
Brand Director, Tom Coates says “As proud purveyors of London’s spirit, we are delighted to bring our classic London Dry Gin to the discerning drinkers of Northern Ireland. Although we are relatively young company, the history of gin is woven into the fabric of our brand and our timeless spirit is a nod to the distillers of the past while retaining the versatility to complement an array of libations, from the classic G&T to the robustness of a Negroni”
The internationally-acclaimed Portobello Road Gin has received several accolades, including a Gold Medal from the 2014 San Francisco Spirit Awards and the award for London Distillery of the Year from 2015 New York Spirits Competition.
Hiya again to anyone still with me! Okay, so we heard all this, and we had already been tasting the gin, but by the second (and third…) tasting, we were beginning to notice all the natural ingredients that go in to making Portobello Road Gin the refreshing taste that it is. On Tuesday night, we were pairing it with some pink grapefruit juice, and Fever Tree Tonic Water, but Tom was happy to share some of his favourite cocktail recipes using the Portobello Road Gin. These included the Blighty Mojito, a gin-based Bloody Mary, and of course the aforementioned Negroni. But can you really overlook the classic Bramble?
Selling on their online shop at just £25 for a 70cl bottle, Portobello Road Gin is definitely going to be added to my wishlist the next time I’m looking to treat myself to something a little nicer than Gordon’s!
I had a fabulous time on Tuesday night, and just wanted to take the time to say thank you to Tom and Becky for hosting a great night, and a special thanks to Gill for putting up with me for the evening!
Have you tried Portobello Road Gin? What would you normally drink it with? Let me know in the comments below!