Gin tasting and lunch at The Honours and Glasgow Malmaison
Myself and the Don wandered along to The Mal in Glasgow for their Gin Lunch and Tasting as we hadn't tried some of the gins (I know!).
If you haven't been into the Mal Bar, it's pretty funky: bright colours, Roy Lichtenstein-style paintings and a good haul of gin, rum and beer available...but more on that later.
The bar was awash with rows of readily-prepared gin cocktails for all the attendees to try.
Settling down with a pink grapefruit and basil signature serve from Langleys Gin, we had some time to read up on the afternoon's gin from information sheets handed out.
Time to move onto the real learning and into one of the event rooms, filled with tables of gin.
First up was Blackwoods Gin, served neat to taste and then as a Bloody Moorie. 40% vintage gin infused with botanicals such as coriander, lime and Shetland harvested botanicals. This was a citrusry smelling and tasting gin, so pleasant on the nose and the tongue.
Created by the son of King Of Soho Paul Raymond, as a homage to his father. This gin had pine as well as citrus notes and worked well both neat and mixed. 42% ABV includes coriander, grapefruit peel, angelica root and cassia.
I had tried Brokers Gin at last year's Juniper Fest but the Don had yet to try it. This gin was perfect served as a Bramble Cocktail, and was so good I purchased a bottle last year! Flavoured with coriander seed, orris root, nutmeg, cassia bark, cinnamon, liquorice, orange peel, lemon peel and angelica root.
Distillery 209 Gin is another new one for me, with between eight and eleven botanicals (they are being sneakily quiet on this) including cassia bark and bergamot. This gin was floral, fragrant and delicious neat and mixed in a cocktail.
Finally Brooklyn Gin, with its full of citrus flavour and a slightly spicy aftertaste. Another good one both neat and with a cocktail (we'll be adding more cocktail recipes in the coming weeks).
By this point everyone was chatting away and very merry (6 neat gins and 6 cocktails so this was great value for money), so food was required. Included in the cost was a two course menu within the Martin Wishart restaurant, The Honours.
Next up was Steamed Fillet of Gigha halibut with spicy peppers and shaved fennel salad. Juicy peppers on top of a meaty fillet of halibut.
There are more events at Malmaison Hotel, click HERE to find out more.
You'd think by this point we would give up.... well we would have if we hadn't spied a new summer cocktail menu!
One Smoked Paloma and a Pink Gentleman later we eventually decided it was time to move on (£5 for the cocktails Sunday to Thursday).