Last weekend we were having a jolly good time at Buxton’s first ever gin festival – the Gin Jamboree, held at the Pavilion Gardens Marquee. The team at Gin Jamboree hold gin festival tasting events countrywide and this was their first outing in Buxton…here’s how Explore Buxton got on (hic!)…
On arrival we were greeted with big smiles and even bigger glasses (heartening!). Once we’d been given the lie of the land with the drinks token system and how to navigate the gin guide we took our seats and gobbled up the complimentary snacks on our table. I also noted the strategic jugs of water on the tables placed there by GJ staff. Very sensible!
From a second glance at the booklet the enormity of my task dawned on me… with over 100 gins to sample there were some tough decisions and hard drinking ahead! Luckily I had the backup of a few companions. Two fellow gin drinkers and a lager lover (useless!), although it was good to know that you could access alternative drinks at the event so ‘non-ginners’ needn’t be excluded from any of your future Gin Jamboree plans.
The jamboree atmosphere was well honed thanks to the dj playing party bangers from the likes of Grace Jones and The Pointer Sisters, the face painting, the fairy lights and the cocktail mixing that Tom Cruise would have been proud of. Then the chorizo and chicken jambalaya came out and the party atmos’ was cranked up yet another notch!
All in all we sampled 15 different gins, encompassing everything from the herbaceous to the fruity to the London drys. Each drink was served with a recommended tonic and garnish which included ingredients such as orange, cloves, root ginger and liquorice root. The option of half measures was great for me because it meant I could try two gins for the price of one and have some definite memories of the evening! For one drink token there were also gin cocktails on offer, which I am assured were delicious; the spinning, flipping, balancing skills of the mixologists keeping you entertained while you waited.
We only scratched the surface of what was on offer, but we certainly had fun scratching. I can see why the event sold out and given my group’s very positive consensus I’ve already got my eye on July’s local ‘Rave in a Cave’ Gin Jamboree at Peak Cavern (the cavern is sometimes referred to as the Devil’s Arse!)