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The Evolution of Gin, at The Kenilworth

31 January 2011 One Comment
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A little tweet caught my attention earlier this month, it was from Rob Wood (InRobWeTrust) and mentioned that I might be interested in a night about ‘The Evolution of Gin’. Lots of events and other bits get mentioned to me, though this was an event I thought to be good to attend. That’s partly down to Mark (The Cocktail Geek) who had mentioned that it was a shame that I hadn’t visited The Kenilworth, where Rob works. It’s a cocktail lounge, and boutique hotel located in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Which means it’s not the most accessible venue for me to pop to, and make my way back to Birmingham!

After all the good words that Mark had said about the place, I knew I had to make it across to both see the place, meet Rob, and also see what this event was all about. A room was booked and the Sat Nav set to get me there.

The Evolution of Gin, January ABC Event
(ABC stands for Aficionado, Bon Vivant & Cognoscenti Appreciation Society)

The event covered the five drinks below:

Garrick House Punch
Bols Genever / St. Germain Elderflower / Lemon / Marschino / Cucumber

Muscat Martinez
Hayman’s Old Tom / Elysium Black Muscat / Limoncello / Cherry Bitters

Trio of Ramos Fizz
Winter Edition Marshamallow / Summer Edition Cereal / Beefeater Fizz

‘Dry’ Martini
Tanqueray No. Ten / Dolin Chambery / Evolution of Garnish

Gin & Tonic
Oxley Small Batch Gin / Homemade Tonic Water / Aromatic Lime Bitters

At 8PM I was led up the stairs to a little snug part of the venue and greeted with a tea cup containing a measure of Bols Genever.  This was the start of our journey looking at the origin of gin, and dutch genever, and was presented with a punchbowl for us to add to our drink, and help quench our thirst throughout the evening.  The room was a mix of local patrons and over the course of the evening those who didn’t know about gin learnt a bit more, and for me the highlight was the way the drinks were presented.

For the Ramos Gin Fizz, we had a traditional approach (i.e a drink in a glass), and then moved into the edible realms where Rob provided us with Ramos Gin Fizz marshmallows and then later a bowl of rice crispies with a Ramos Gin Fizz ‘milk’.  Certainly unusual and the marshmallows were delightful!

The exhibition martini was cooled with dry ice, much to the awe of some of the guests (the world of drinks theatrics hasn’t really worked its way outside of London, where places like Purl make it ‘normal’).  The evolution of garnish was a nice way of introducing people to the Gibson (Onion), traditional lemon twist and olives as well as cherries and blue cheese stuffed olives!

The Martinez, made with Elysium Black Muscat had the cherry flavours from the bitters shine through, though it was a tad too sweet for my liking.

I’ve always thought that the sign of a great bartender is the willingness to go the extra mile; Rob makes his own syrups and fruit cordials, as well as investigating how to make his own tonic water.  The G&T was a measure of Oxley, homemade lime bitters and a large Tonic ice block.  A perfect way to savour a delightful gin.

Over the course of a few hours Rob had shown how Gin was versatile, and worked in many different ways, as well as being playful with the presentation of the drinks he had a great knowledge odd the category and I’m sure that all who attended left with some knowledge.  It may have been a rather indulgent midweek treat, but I’m glad that I visited.

No doubt I’ll be back at somepoint, I may have to take advantage of their cocktail menu which has many classics, and a specials list that delights (a Clover Club 3000 was on it once, a drink served entirely as a foam with popping candy on top!)

Cost: £40
The Kenilworth Website

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