Drink, drink and more drink – The Spirit Show, London

I went along to the press afternoon of The Spirit Show which was held at the Business Design Centre (1-2 December 2017) in which I took along my blogger friend Kim (see her blog by clicking here). Press events are great as attending those sessions are much quieter which in turn makes it easier and more leisurely to browse around all the stalls, instead of trying to keep on pushing pass everyone to sample a drink or two or to have a discussion with the sellers/owners.

The Spirit Show

I am not a big drinker so I was extremely excited about tasting and seeing all the different spirits that are out there on the market. I learnt so much and tasted so many different drinks that I have never heard of or even tasted so The Spirit Show really opened up my eyes and got my taste buds dancing with joy.

I managed to visit all the stalls in the show and there was over 100. So as you can imagine with there being such a large number of stalls (three rows in fact) to visit and with all of them giving a sample or two of their products by the second row I was a bit tipsy and the third let’s just say I was then now a bit drunk but then so was many others including butch men.

However I can remember all those drinks that I really did enjoy and appealed to me but then I suppose that is because I took photos of the ones that I really loved, thank heavens for cameras/smartphones.

Firstly though before going around and tasting all the many various spirits from gins to vodkas I went along to one of the master classes entitled ‘Get in the Festive Spirit – Cocktails for the holiday season’ which was being run by Fentimans. I am a big fan of Fentimans so this had to be done out of all the master classes. Myles Cunliffe was the mixologist for the class and he was so fun to listen and watch he totally kept us all entertained with his wit, charm and knowledge.

I can’t remember exactly the cocktails we were taught maybe it would have been good if we was given a recipe card at the end. I did learn though that when it comes to making a punch or any hot alcoholic drinks you should not heat up the alcohol you should heat up the other fluid like the juice instead otherwise if you heat up the alcohol you will be burning away the alcohol content.

There were many other master classes going on throughout the day such as ‘The Art of Making The Perfect Cocktail’ to learning about ‘Bitters’. The classes are I believe on a first come first serve basis.

Now it was onto the stalls to discover and taste new drinks and some well known brands. There was a mix of alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, mixers, an ice carver and a chocolate seller plus like at any event a RSPB stand.

PSD Ice Art

I tried my hand at the PSD Ice Art stand.  Was this was wise me holding a very sharp knife when being a bit tipsy after having so many tastings from the first aisle of drinks may of not been wise but I have always wanted to try my hand at ice carving so I did it. It was very fun and not as difficult as I initially thought. I made myself a new diamond for my ring shame it melted.

On my drink journey though I really did learn a lot about so many different types of gins, rums, vodkas etc. who knew that there was so many different methods to create all spirits. I think the most interesting ones I learnt were about the different distillery methods in how to make vodka.

So if you are looking for a great tasting drink or even as a gift for a friend, colleague or family member then these are some of the drinks that I highly recommend.

Fentimans

To me Fentimans is the best soda pop producers in the world. Not only do their products look stylish in their old fashioned style glass bottles but the taste that comes through from any of their drinks is phenomenal and the fizz is the most fizziest fizz I have ever got from any fizzy drink. My favourite out of all the flavours that they do is most certainly the Rose Lemonade as it is punchy, zesty, fizzy and it’s pink colour is so pretty ‘pretty in pink’. Plus also the Rose Lemonade recently won the Great Taste 2016 award.

There most newest drink that they have brought out to the market and was at The Spirit Show is their Mediterranean Orange and Connoisseurs Tonic Water which was really good and very refreshing.

All there flavours are as follows:

Soft drinks – Traditional Ginger Beer, Rose Lemonade, Sparkling Lime & Jasmine, Wild English Elderflower, Dandelion & Burdock, Curiosity Cola, Mandarin & Seville Orange Jigger, Victorian Lemonade, Cherry Cola, Lemon Shandy

Mixers – Tonic Water, Light Tonic Water, Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water, Mediterranean Orange Tonic Water, Rose Lemonade, Bitter Lemonade, Ginger Beer & Muddled Lime, Botanical Tonic Water

Pre-mixed alcoholic drinks – Rose Lemonade & Bloom Gin, Bloom Gin & Tonic

Craft Beer – Traditional Ginger Beer, Gluten Free Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Gluten Free Spiced Ginger Beer

Want to know more about Fentimans though. Well they have been making natural botanical drinks now for over 100 years. Their artisanal drinks are brewed for a period of 7 days using the time-honoured botanical brewing process. What is Botanical brewing? well it is a combination of infusion, skilful blending and fermentation of natural ingredients. Thomas Fentimans time honoured approach hasn’t changed much in over 100 years, with the knowledge and expertise being passed on from generation to generation of the Fentimans family. The result of this process always produces an authentic superior drink that tastes simply delicious.

See the process in step by step stages by clicking here.

But still why Fentimans well they have also recently won the prestige award The Guild of Fine Food 2016/2017 for the Best Soft Drinks.

Franklin & Sons

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Franklin & Sons drinks are non-alcoholic drinks which are all natural, no alcohol, no added sugar, no preservatives with absolutely delicious flavours.

Their flavours include the 1886 Cola with West African Kola Nut and Green Coffee Beans, Valencian Orange & Pink Grapefruit with Lemongrass, Cloudy Apple & Yorkshire Rhubarb with Cinnamon, British Dandelion & Handpicked Burdock with Star Anise, Brewed Ginger Beer with Malted Barley & a Squeeze of Lemon, Sicilian Lemonade & English Elderflower with Crushed Juniper, Wild Strawberry & Scottish Raspberry and Cracked Black Pepper.

Franklin & Sons drinks were first introduced in 1886 and sold from their small family confectioners shop at 171 High Street, Rickmansworth, London. Eventually the Franklin brothers then began to introduce innovative flavours to the UK, selling their handcrafted range of soft drinks to great acclaim.

Their drinks are authentic, high quality recipes made with hand-picked ingredients. This ethos continues today with the range of premium soft drinks developed with the expertise of Shaker Bar School. This is to ensure the flavours are excellent as a standalone soft drink and deliver brilliantly as a mixer for premium spirits. They use only natural flavours, extracts and colours and never include preservatives or sweeteners.

I loved the unique taste of their drinks and I will certainly be looking to buy these in the future so if you love fruity drinks and ones with a good punchiness then I highly recommend in buying Franklin & Sons drinks.

Cazcabel

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Cazcabel are flavoured tequilas and I never thought I would like tequilas but how wrong was I. Cazcabel flavoured tequilas are so smooth and flavoursome they just make you want to keep on drinking more and more be that a good thing or not but no matter what you will surely be dancing like a Mexican after one or two of these.

Their flavours include Tequila Blanco, Cazcabel Honey, Cazcabel Reposado, Cazcabel Coffee

Cazcabel tequila was created in an independent micro distillery in the town of Arandas, located in the highlands of the Jalisco mountains in Mexico. The elevation of Arandas ensures that the agave are well hydrated and that they have mineral and nutrient rich soil which allow them to grow larger than anywhere else in Jalisco. Once harvested they used autoclaves to steam their piñas and start converting the carbohydrates and starches into fermentable sugars. Autoclaves have many benefits including being able to regulate temperatures which allow for an even cook and a beautifully clean tequila. After fermenting in steel tanks for 10 days, Cazcabel is distilled using a combination of copper pot and steel stills and then chill-filtered to get rid of any impurities. The combination of these processes gives Cazcabel tequila it’s well rounded but amazingly smooth and balanced flavour.

You can make some awesome Martinis out of these delicious Cazcabel tequilas. South Pole Saloon which is at present in Brixton serve some amazing Martinis made with Cazcabel tequilas I highly recommend in going along to try them. Read my blog about South Pole Saloon here.

I highly recommend this drink to any tequila lover.

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor”  

Au Vodka

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Love vodka? then Au Vodka is most certainly one of the freshest and highest quality vodkas that I have ever tasted and I am a big LOVER of vodka.

Firstly their bottle is all gold making this instantly appealing and instantly giving you that feeling this is not your normal vodka but a luxurious top class vodka.

Au Vodka incorporates the periodic table where gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79. They combined British heritage and luxury ingredients together to create truly exceptional ultra-premium vodka.

Each batch of Au Vodka begins with the finest grain grown in the heart of the English countryside. Their British grain used in the creation of Au is a significant component of their small batch productions. Only the highest grade of grain is selected in the development of the vodka. The spirit is then blended with pristine spring water and filtered through Gold. Gold has mineral properties that give the vodka smooth and velvety taste. Their method is the only gold filtration processes in the world. Plus Au Vodka is distilled five times which gives the vodka its exceptional character and smoothness, delivering a unique and distinctive citrus flavour with hints of cracked black pepper to finish.

“Gold, symbolizing power and perfection, represents the exceptional purity of our unique vodka”

Au’s signature smooth taste and distinct flavouring is perfect on the rocks or in a martini, breathing character to any cocktail.

Beremot

Beremot vodka is not just a delicious tasting pure vodka but it’s bottles make them stand out from any other vodka as they are in a shape of the most dangerous animal in the world and my favourite animal the hippo. This is why this vodka stand lured me towards it because of it’s shaped bottle.

They sell different flavours from Original, Strawberry, Orange, Lime, Coffee

Beremot came about via a renowned Russian explorer who, in the mid-19th century, began one of his expeditions through unknown regions of the Asian continent. In his pursuit of reaching the capital of the region of Tibet and finding the last specimen of the mythical animal, the “behemoth”, he crossed the mountains of the Himalayas, and rivers such as the famous Brahmaputra. In this region of sacred temples, he discovered numerous species of flora and fauna, in an imposing natural environment, recorded in his travel books. As he wanted to achieve one of his greatest finds, the last Asian hippopotamus, a mammal of imposing strength, whose species would soon move to inhabit the African continent.

Over a century later, Spanish adventurers, on one of their journeys to Asia, captured the essence of this story, and imbued with the characteristic aromas of the region, have developed Beremot. It is a vodka which is distilled four times, obtained from maize, with five varieties in its range: Original, Lime, Orange, Strawberry and Coffee. Without added sugars and with natural ingredients, like the environment of this animal, Beremot offers an authentic wild, bold flavour, in the pure style of the traditional Russian drink.

“Vodka is like water, but with consequences”

RumChata

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RumChata is a delicious creamy Caribbean rum combined with cinnamon.

Their ingredients are hand selected from all around the world making it the best tasting cream liqueur in the Universe.

Every batch of RumChata begins with a unique blend of premium five times distilled Caribbean rum, which are all selected for its light and smooth character. It is then blended with the finest dairy cream from Wisconsin. Then it is blended with their secret spice mix. With all ingredients being sourced from around the globe whilst only using the finest ingredients this makes this drink one of the world’s finest creamiest best tasting liqueurs.

I don’t usually like creamy drinks but this one I surely do feel like “a cat that’s got the cream” as it is extremely delicious.

“Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum”

Crazy Gin

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Mr Nagra and Ms Kaur created Crazy Gin using Indian flavours with their gin being infused with yoghurt, angelica, pomegranate seeds, turmeric, juniper, black cumin, black pepper and coriander. This being the worlds first clear Lassi Gin.

The Crazy Gin maker Mr Nagra wanted to bring his Punjabi heritage and combine his British upbringing into a drink blending both cultures perfectly together.

Crazy Gin is vacuum distilled to enhance the flavours of the fruit lassi and the fragrant spices of classic gin botanicals. It combines ‘lassi’, a traditional Punjabi drink (drunk by his forefathers in India) with the quintessential British Gin (drunk by him today).

Why did he call his gin Crazy Gin though well that is because his friends and family never thought his infused ingredients and cultures would work so they called him crazy but were so wrong as it is one of the best gins in my opinion on the market with a real kick.

He hopes that you have as much fun drinking it as he had making it …

 

“embrace the craziness inside of you and create your own amazing memories”

Verdict

I was highly surprised by the large variety of brands and flavours of all the different spirits available out there on the market. The Spirit Show has was a real eye opener especially being able to taste them all helped make my decision if I love gin, vodka, whisky etc. best and which type. I still am a massive LOVER of vodka though over any spirit.

Here is a list of all the exhibitors at the show: Abelforth’s, Alter Ego, Amathus Drinks, Appleton Estate Rum, Apricot Vodka, Arbikie Highland Estate, Au Vodka, Bar Pong UK, Bedrock Gin, Benjamin & Blum, Bentianna, Beringice, Bimber Distillery, BISHOP’S GIN, Bitter Union, Black Tartan Whisky, Black Tomato Gin, BLACKDOWN SPIRITS, Bohemian Brands Craft Spirits, Breil Pur, Brilliant Gin, Brockmans Gin, Burning Barn, Caledonia Spirits, Casa, D’Aristi, Cask 88, CollaGin, Combier Liqueurs, Copeland Gin, Crazy Gin, Curio, Curio Gin, Curio Vodka, Dale DeGroff’s Bitters, Devon Distillery, Drinks by the Dram, The East India Company, Edgerton Original Pink Gin, El-Gin, Element Equipment, Elephant Gin, Envy Absinthe, Envy Gin, Envy Rhum, Envy Vodka, Envy Whisky, Fentimans, Few Spirits, Finest Call, Finntastic, Floating Rum Shack, Foxhole Gin, Franklin & Sons, Gilpin’s Westmoreland Extra Dry Gin, Ginking, Goral Vodka Master, Graveny Gin, Greensand Ridge, Gunpowder Gin, Hampshire Gin, HMS NAVY GIN, House of Elrick, House of Malt, Indie Brands, Irish Spirit, Isle of Wight Distillery, Jade Liqueurs Fine Absinthes, Jade Perique Tobacco Liqueur, James Eadie, Jawbox Gin, Jools Pearls of Goodness, Koko Kanu, Koppert Cress, Koval Distillery, Kuro London Dry Gin, La Fee Absinthe Superieure, La Maison Fontaine Absinthe, Lanique, Laplandia Vodka, Lejay Crème de Cassis Original, Lilliput Dorset Gin, Liquid Careers, Lone Wolf Spirits, Majestic, Malfy Gin, Manchester Gin, Marvolio’s Nostrums, Master of Mixes, Matusalem 15 Gran Reserva Rum, McQueen Gin, Meloncello, Wight Mermaids Gin, Mix and Match Ltd, Mixology Group, Murray McDavid, Negroni Antica Distilleria, Nelson’s Gold, Old Man Rum Expressions, Pensador Mezcal, Persie Distillery, Poetic License, Prestige Events, PSD Ice Art, Puerto de Indias, Real Cocktail Ingredients, Regal Rogue Vermouth, Rock Sea Vodka, Rum Java, Rum-Bar Rum, RumChata, Salcombe Distilling Co, Sip or Mix, Skene Scotch Whisky, Sliabh Liag, Sobolinaya, Solkiki Chocolatemaker, Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn, St Nicholas Abbey Rum, St.Vincent Distillers, Still on The Move, Sunset Rum, SW4 London Dry Gin, Tenu Gin, That Boutique-y gin company, That Boutique-y whisky company, The Benevolent, The Bottle Drinks Company, The Cotswolds Distillery, The Gin Guild, The Islay Boys Limited, The Spirits Business, The Spirits Society, The Wrecking Coast, TREVETHAN Distillery, U’Luvka Vodka, Underground Spirits, UWA, Vestal Vodka, Vine Distribution Services, Vodcake, Wemyss Malts, Whisky Foundation, Wild Knight Vodka, Woodall’s Charcuterie, Wray & Nephew Rum, WSET, Zeolla Chocolate Wine, Zummo London

A thought
“24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?”

With there being so many brands to choose from and buy there is no excuse to not shop till you drop with their FREE ‘Shop & Drop’ service at the show! Also you don’t even need to carry your shopping home if you don’t want to as they can ship it to your door for a small fee with their new shipping service.

So shop, drop or/and ship!

Normal cost to attend The Spirit Show is £20 each but it is so worth it when you can sample so many different drinks, learn about drinks via one of their many master classes, even have a dab hand at ice carving and buy many drinks at a reduced special price on the day.

So with this being believe it or not my first event all totally on spirits would I return or attend another show similar to it? YES I would but would I be more cautious in how much I drink? YES as I had a hangover in the morning.

Thank you to The Spirit Show for the experience and I look forward to the next one in 2018.

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"Our lager which art in barrels, hallowed be thy drink.
 Thy will be drunk, at home as in the tavern.
 Give us this day our foamy head, and forgive us our spillages,
 as we forgive those who spill against us.
 And lead us not into incarceration, but deliver us from hangovers.
 For thine is beer, the bitter and the lager, for ever and ever, barmen."
The Craft Beer Prayer
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2 Comments

  1. shelley says:

    I went to the cocktail tent earlier this year & loved trying new drinks. I’m not a big drinker so it was nice to expand my tastebuds!

  2. Louise Joy says:

    My boyfriend would have loved this! The Get in the Festive Spirit – Cocktails for the holiday season masterclass sounds like it would have been so much fun! x

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