If you’d surveyed South Africans around ten years ago about their drink of choice, I’d hazard a bet that gin would be way down on the agenda. But in the last five years, thank the heavens because it doesn’t give me a hangover, it’s risen to the top.
And what do we do when we love something? We festivalarise it, yes, I made that word up. Cheese fan? Cheese fest. Love wine? Wine fest. Keen on food in general? Food fest. Now in its third year, the Gin Festival has grown from strength to strength as the gin trend fast evolves into a true revolution.
Picture the scene. Sunshine (although we could do with some rain, amiright?). Live jazz. Thirty bars. Gin for absolute days. The shindig was set up in three huge areas, which meant that there was plenty space for everyone, throughout. It also meant that you could meander through the festival discovering deliciousness with every turn.
A Day with Tanqueray
An international gin to catch my eye was Tanqueray. There’s little to question why this classic London Dry Gin is one of the most awarded gin brands in the world. Served with a classic tonic, the prominent juniper flavours land squarely in your mouth, with a very smooth and deliciously long finish. “BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!?” you might be yelling into your computer. It means that the flavour of the botanicals linger in your mouth after you take a sip and swallow. It gives you that warm feeling in your mouth, without making your eyes water, your head tilt to the side, and uncomfortable shivers creep up your spine. I.e. it’s a good thing.
Along with the London Dry, Tanqueray was also showcasing its No. Ten, which has more prominent citrusy flavours. A Tanqueray London Dry cocktail was also in high demand and was mixed up with cranberry juice, fresh lemon and mint for a refreshing drink perfect for the Cape Town summer.
For the more adventurous, you could craft it your way, allowing you to choose either gin along with two garnishes of your choice to mix up a drink that suits your palate. Experienced barmen & women were behind the counter to help out and assist you.
With a live jazz band right next to the bar and so many unique ways to enjoy Tanqueray, it was a gin experience to remember.
The only aspect of the event that needed improvement was the food, which after a good couple of gins is very, very important. Some of the food trucks were out of stock before 2 pm. Ouch. Everyone knows how many tickets have been sold: they could do better.
Food aside, with over thirty gins to choose from, with a number of local and international gins on show, there’s a little something for everyone. Most of the brands also had some sort of fun experience to entice guests into their realms, which had me smiling all day, and the live entertainment in the main tent had feet tapping and heads bopping ‘til the sun went down.