I was recently invited to a gin pop up at The Happenstance in St Pauls, so I knew I had to take along my gin expert buddy Ceri. We actually visited the restaurant together last summer, which you can read about here – we were particularly impressed with their vast cocktail menu.
‘Gin It Yourself’ allows you to create your own bespoke G&T, choosing your gin, tonic and garnish, with a wide range of flavours and botanicals. First of all, we sampled eight different gins, to get a taste for the various flavours and see which ones we liked best.
Tanqueray No.10 – I had obviously tried Tanqueray gin on numerous occasions but I hadn’t actually tried the No.10 – this was beautiful, with hints of grapefruit and camomile
Little Bird – as the brand and the bottle depicts, this gin is going back to old school basics. The percentage was weaker but felt stronger, which makes it perfect for cocktails.
Gin Mare – made with olives, this has been one of my favourite gins for some time, ever since I tried it at Gaucho quite a few years ago. It’s lovely garnished with basil.
Sipsmith – another big favourite of mine which you’ve probably read quite a bit about on this blog already. Ceri is also a big fan and introduced me to the brand in the first place. It’s a beautiful gin, made with juniper.
Sipsmith VJOP – we then moved on to the stronger version which neither of us had tried before. It definitely had a kick to it!
Sipsmith Sloe Gin – made with sloe berries, this tasted a lot weaker (I could have sipped away at it all evening) and felt very Christmassy!
Silent Pool – this was a particularly interesting one as it had a strong kick but a sweet after taste.
Becketts – the final gin was a lovely all-rounder – balanced and smooth.
We then sampled the tonics; Fever tree Original, Mediterranean and Elderflower, as well as BTW syrup, which was really interesting to try a more ‘raw’ form of tonic. I’d tried most of the Fever Tree ones before and they’re all lovely. I do think they should have a look at Double Dutch tonics though, which I’ve written about previously here, as that would bring a whole new element to the flavour combinations.
Finally we made our bespoke G&Ts- we both went for the Mediterranean tonic as that was our favourite, and tried one with Becketts and one with the Sipsmith Sloe Gin.
We paired this with some delicious ceviche and mushroom bruschetta – a lovely evening! The service was great, although it does get very busy, especially on Thursdays and Fridays, so don’t expect a quiet cosy restaurant – it’s quite big and bustling. It’s definitely worth a visit, either for dinner, for drinks or both, especially if you work in the city.
‘Gin It Yourself’ is running until the end of March so make sure you get yourself down there soon to give it a whirl! You can find out more on the website here.
I was invited to review the Gin It Yourself pop up by Roche Communications and The Happenstance, but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.