In the next thrilling installment of Steph Tries To Be Interesting, my sister and some friends and I took my Dad to his first Gin Festival last Bank Holiday. Gin is a bit of a bonding thing for us and our Dad. I don’t know where it started. My first ever gin was Gordon’s, pilfered from my parent’s drinks cabinet (sorry Dad! Don’t tell Mum!) cut with orange squash because we didn’t like the taste of tonic, and served from a plastic bottle in case anyone walked in. It was not an enjoyable experience. I didn’t really drink it in my youth either – I was a child of the alco-pop generation and didn’t really start drinking grown up drinks till I started managing pubs and had access to a bigger range of quality tipples and lots of training sessions. So I’m not exactly sure when gin found it’s way to my heart, but it’s now easily one of my favourite things to drink. There’s nothing nicer than a tall G&T with lots of ice and lime, especially when presented to me by my Dad on a Sunday evening while we cook dinner for the family.
Dad has been a gin lover a lot longer than me, of course, and our mutual love of it started with us buying him special bottles for Christmas or his Birthday. It’s become a bit of a tradition now, with us trying to find more and more special or obscure gins to try. I remember one Father’s Day desperately dashing around every Waitrose we could think of trying to find a particular bottled we wanted to get for him – that one still evades us so I won’t say which in case we get it another time! Soon we started to branch out with our gin themed gifts, including a trip to a Victorian style Gin Parlour at The Jekyll and Hyde in Birmingham. I’ll never forget the moment when the bar man asked us what we’d like to drink and my Dad ordered a Manhattan – nice one, Pops! Anyway, my sister and I attended this event last year and instantly regretted not bringing Dad, so this year as soon as tickets went on sale we were sure to get us some.
We had a fantastic afternoon sampling a fine and exciting selection of gins (my new favourites were Prudence Rose Petal Gin and Edinburgh Rhubarb and Ginger Liqueur if you’re interested, fellow gin lovers) and Dad even got himself a free one by chatting up one of the stall holders (sorry – discussing the merits of Dutch Genever. Whatever, Dad, I know your game. Wish I’d thought of that!). If you’re into your gin and have never been before I thoroughly recommend you get tickets to the next event near you. Later, my sister and I were interesting enough to attend a secret Rudimental gig (told you I do gigs now!) and a silent disco (where there is no DJ, but everyone listens to music through headphones) – I’m getting there folks. Though I did feel like a bit of an outcast. Must try harder.