The Gin Society at Manchester Cathedral - February 2019

February 19, 2019

The Gin Society’s first gin festival of the year happened this weekend and it was a great success with sold out tickets, a wide selection of gins (120 to be exact), a beautiful venue and some yummy treats along the way. 

The Gin Society team were kind enough to send me a complimentary ticket so I could attend on Friday night. I was really excited as I’d been to Gin Festivals in the past but not a Gin Society one. To start they chose to host their event inside Manchester Cathedral which was such a good venue. It’s beautiful inside, roomy and a really good setting for sipping gin. I’m always blown away whenever I visit the cathedral. 

Arriving at the festival was a breeze, the security scanned in my ticket and I was led inside, greeted with my gin glass, gin booklet, a pen and a drink token plus all the information I needed. Everyone was also given a card to fill out to enter a competition. 

Once I was given everything I needed, I was directed towards the bars, seating areas and gin stalls to enjoy the evening. Down the middle of the room were the bars with a cocktail bar on the way in, at the sides were gin companies showcasing their products and offering samples to taste. There was also a street food stand, token desk and a masterclass area. All the gin festivals I’ve attended have had a drinks token system so you buy however many tokens you’d like and use these at the bars. Buying tokens was easy at the token desk were they accepted cash or card. 

My friend came along with me so we grabbed a table and picked out our first gin from the gin booklet. The gin festival booklet comes in handy, it’s got all the info on the gins available from the bars, the ingredients and some extra info too like mixer choice. Fentimans was the mixer brand on offer this weekend, they have plenty of mixer choice; my favourites being Ginger Ale and Rose Lemonade. 

The first gin of the night was the handmade Buss No 509 Raspberry gin which I mixed with Fentimans Rose Lemonade (as a gin drinker it’s unfortunate that I’m not a tonic fan so tend to stick to lemo). I sort of played it safe getting a Raspberry gin as it’s my regular flavour when it comes to choice but this was a new taste with a good fruity flavour and smooth gin element. I’d rate this gin at a 8/10. 

With a gin in hand we were able to have a wander around the stalls, find new gin’s to try, sample them and purchase if wanted. I really liked the Fenney Street Gin which is created in Manchester by Paul and Becky, their small batch gin’s are made in their nano kitchen distillery. Their blush gin was really tasty and fruity being made from fresh strawberries, raspberries and apples. 

I was pretty hungry at this point so took advantage of the food stall and got some Mac & Cheese which was bloody delicious!!! We had a lovey sit down, chatted and finished our gin’s ready to continue our evening at the event.

Time for another... this time I didn’t play it safe and ordered the Persian Blue Marshmallow flavoured gin and I’m so glad I took the risk! Literally my new favourite gin! Again I opted for Rose Lemonade although I think a regular lemonade would of been beautiful with this gin, lemon was recommended in the gin booklet as well. The gin has a blue colour and the mixer turned it purple so I was pretty happy, haha. This gin gets a 10/10 rating and is on my to buy list! 

With another gin in hand we headed to the masterclass to see what was going on there. Here we learnt the history of gin from one of the stall holders Uncle Val's and got to taste test Uncle Val's Botanical gin too. The history of gin is a pretty wild story to be honest and you’ll be surprised at some of the stories so make sure you attend one of the masterclasses to find out more. 

The whole event felt well organised, not too crowded, we had lots to do and see and lots of gin to sip! There was even a swing/jazz band playing music throughout the evening to keep us all entertained. 

What makes a gin festival for me is... 

-a great venue - check!
-lots of gin choice - check!
-having things to see and do - check!
The Gin Society ticks all the boxes!

On the way out of the venue I spotted a small gin shop so you could purchase a full bottle of gin from a selection of brands, just another part of the gin festival and a chance to take the experience home with you.

Thank you to Gin Society and the team for a wonderful, fun and gin filled evening. I can’t wait to attend again. The Gin Society have many dates available you can purchase tickets for them all here using their eventbrite page. 

*complimentary ticket was given to me to attend, all thoughts/opinions are my own. 
See my disclaimer for more information. 

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