The Gin & Rum Festival Manchester

August 07, 2019

Gin Gin! It’s looking like a summer of Gin Festivals this year with different ones popping up everywhere across the UK. Last week The Gin & Rum Festival visited Manchester and held a fun filled weekend at Manchester Cathedral from Friday evening until Sunday. I’ve spoken about Manchester Cathedral before and that it’s a pleasure to spend time in the beautiful building; it’s a perfect venue for a gin festival. 

I was kindly invited to attend with a complimentary entry ticket* and a plus one, so I grabbed my pal from work, and we headed to the festival on Friday evening. My pal hadn’t been to a Gin Festival before, so everything was new to her, but I’ve attended a few before in different locations and one in the Cathedral before. What makes this festival different from the others is that its not just Gin that is available but Rum drinkers can enjoy many different rum brands and tasters just like the gin lovers. 

Arriving at the venue was easy and our complimentary tickets were scanned in quickly, we were given a balloon gin glass, pen, booklet and a glass bag then directed to the token desk to buy drink tokens. Each token was £5.00, and this got you a drink from the bar; both me and my friend bought 2 tokens each. At other gin festivals, the first drink is included in the ticket price, but none was included for this particular festival.

Around the venue were 2 bar stations, a cocktail bar, seating areas with tables, a few foodie stalls and brands offering samples of gin and rum. The brands were also advising on what best to pair their gins/rums with and giving information and history on the brands; some of them were still in the early days but had the gin on point anyway. My favourite of the evening was ‘Shellys Drinks’, I sampled the Raspberry Ripple and Manchester Tart; both were delicious, but I took quite a liking to the Raspberry Ripple as it pairs perfectly with lemonade. I made this my first drink of the evening from the fruity gin bar, garnished with dried berries.

We took a full walk around to visit all the brands showcasing their drinks and managed to sample quite a few gins and rum, some of which I have added to my wish list including; Marshmallow Cin Cin Gin and a Soul rum liquor. After all the gin and rum samples, we headed to the masterclass area to enjoy the first masterclass of the evening which was from Schweppes. They were talking us through the history of Schweppes which was quite a story and introducing us to the perfect drink mixers including a dark rum mixer that was absolutely lovely! 

A quick run to the bar to grab another drink, I opted for the Strawberry and Vanilla from Two Birds, this was garnished with a little bit of mint which worked a treat; again I added a Schweppes lemonade although I was told that the light tonic was good with this too (I’m not a tonic drinker). We then stayed for another masterclass which was all about Soul Rum Liqueur, two spirits which we got to sample and both were clear winners for me, especially the Soul Passion which was flavoured with mango, pineapple and passionfruit; the other Soul Salty was a salted caramel flavour which really warmed your insides.

With all the gin and rum to drink, lots of samples, tasty food, music and masterclasses; your Gin and Rum festival experience is filled with treats! Throw in the beautiful building and it was a Friday night worth talking about. The festival is in Bath next weekend followed by Lincoln on the weekend of the 16th August; you can see all the dates and book tickets here.

*The Gin and Rum Festival provided me with a complimentary entry ticket, I was under no oblation to post about the event. 

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