Calling all Gin heads! It’s (probably) the best day of the year: World Gin Day. Taking place on the second Saturday in June, the annual celebration sees Gin fans come together to celebrate the best boozy offerings and Juniper-led treats the world has to offer.
It all started back in 2009 as a way for a man named Neil and his friends to drink Gin together. Over the past ten years, the day has evolved and grown to become international, and now sees brands all over the world putting on events, launching cocktails, and even creating special Gins to celebrate. But one thing that’s always at the heart of World Gin Day is people coming together over a shared love of the spirit.
Since 2013, it has been officially run by Emma Stokes, aka Gin Monkey. You can read more about World Gin Day on their website, but that’s quite enough history. Let’s turn from the past to the future; here are the best ways you can celebrate World Gin Day 2019.
Travel in styleThe Gin Journey is arguably the most fun you can have with a mini bus and a bunch of strangers. It started a few years ago in London and has now expanded all over the UK as well as Singapore and Prague.
The recipe? Five bars, five Gin samples, five Gin cocktails, one Gin Guardian who’ll guide you through a tutored tasting and one chauffeur-driven tour from venue to venue.
Gin Journey is a solid fixture throughout the year, but on World Gin Day 2019, you’ll find the Gin Journey rolling across Liverpool, Leeds, Brighton, Singapore and three London locations (Shoreditch, Soho, Bermondsey). Get your tickets here - they’re sure to sell out.
Go to a Gin festivalJunipalooza - the Gin festival run by Gin fans, for Gin fans, is now in its sixth year in its original London location (find them in Melbourne and Hamburg later in the year). Taking place on 8th and 9th June, it’s an entire weekend of Gin fun.
Unlike other Gin festivals, at Junipalooza, you’ll meet the maker of each Gin on show (and there are over 75 distillers coming from all over the world). They’ll talk you through their wares which you can sample neat or with tonic, plus there’s the opportunity to buy your favourites at the end.
It’s a chance to geek out with other Gin fanatics and try something new - or just your old faves again. Fair warning; it’s a four hour show, so take your time and drink plenty of water. It’s simply not possible to get around all 70 stalls, so check out the exhibitor map and plan your route in advance. Final release tickets are available for both the Saturday and Sunday.
Stay home and drink thisFor World Gin Day 2017, founder Gin Monkey collaborated with That Boutiquey Gin Company to create 7 Continents Gin. A limited edition run made with one botanical sourced from each of the world's seven continents.
Yep, even Antarctica. Not a lot grows in Antarctica, and what does is protected so finding something to add to the Gin wasn’t an easy task. One thing the continent does have that’s free to move around is the sea. This Gin contains sea salt harvested from currents of water originating in the Antarctic Ocean. Smart, huh?
Alongside the salt, there’s juniper from Europe, liquorice root from Africa, cinnamon from Asia, coriander from Australia, angelica root from North America and lime from South America.
To taste, it’s herbal, warming, rounded with lots of spice and piney juniper. Everything you’d want from a Gin. Make sure you purchase it soon enough it’ll arrive before the big day.
Go out for £6 cocktails in LondonFrom 5th to 9th June, you can get your hands on £6 Gin cocktails across 75 bars in the capital - why not try the Sakura Lady with Cherry blossom Gin, yuzu liqueur, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white? The celebration - described as a five day mini festival - will see participating bars offer a £6 World Gin Day cocktail to anyone who flashes a (free!) festival pass on the app.
The "tours" are self-guided and as long as bars are open, the £6 cocktails are available, so you can visit a whole host of bars in one night, or space them out and savour the drinks. Get your free festival pass and be the first to find out which bars are involved, on the DrinkUp London website.
How will you be celebrating World Gin Day this year? Tell us in the comments.