Sipping With Friends
Since Lockdown we have all had to make sacrifices. We have missed seeing friends and family. We have also certainly had to cancel Holidays, events or postpone outings that took time to plan and arrange. Everyone has had to accommodate to this new way of life.
What about Businesses, especially the Alcohol business world?
Normally, us Gin enthusiasts will be heading to farmers markets, food festivals, Gin festivals or distillery tours and planning our weekends so we can try new products coming out in the year. Which then includes spending all our money and having no shame about it!
Events like the above helps gin businesses thrive and get the word out there of their new gins, and all have had to change there way of thinking.
Virtual tasting events has quickly and rapidly increased since lockdown began. Although its not the same as walking into a venue & speaking on a one to one basis to listen to the pride they speak about their business & their Gin, putting themselves on a virtual platform to educate the masses of gin lovers is just as rewarding for us listening & for them to continue to showcase their gins.
Boutique Bar Brands UK with Sipping Rooms have done just that. Helping showcase notable distilleries from as far as Australia to our homes across the world, having co founders and Master Distillers talk about old & new releases. Sponsored by Gin Kiosk who sell Gin in the masses you can easily purchase the gin via them with an additional 10% off for your virtual tasting.
HOW TO join
We were fortunate enough to be asked to try one of their virtual tours when it first came together & both Laura & myself were gifted with Manly Spirits Lilly Pilly Gin. Manly had already been on our radar from the likes of their social media, being fortunate to speak to the founder at Junipalooza & also having their Citrus Coastal Gin (We have baked cupcakes with this Gin, we will post soon how to make some Gin Lemon Cupcakes!)
Before the event you have to register for a ticket. This can be done via Design my Night. Tickets are free however you can make a charitable donation, or buy a ticket with the bottle. The latter makes more sense if you do not already have the Gin & there is a discount when purchasing with the two.
My criticism here is that unless I have the link it is hard to find on Design My Night to register when just going onto the app. As these are open to everyone, it needs to be easier to find.
Once you are registered, they will send you ingredients, list of tools you need (e.g Shakers) for cocktails to make.
This is the most trickier side to it all, finding the ingredients in your house, or making the likes of syrups before the event. They give you plenty of time to collate (unless you register on the day) Dont worry though, you do not have to, just sitting there with a G&T is good enough.
For Lilly Pilly the following cocktails were shown (Also incase you want to give them a go)
Here is one we made earlier; The Lilly Pilly Sour
As you sign in to Sipping Rooms it is relatively easy to find the virtual tour you are after. However again, you may have trouble signing in. Double check you have infact registered to Sipping Rooms, Alternatively reset your password. After that when joining other tours you wont have an issue.
The host will accept you in. So far we have had the pleasure of having Boutique Bar Brands Director Phil Harding be the facilitator between us and the Distilleries. This works. Imagine trying to listen to the Distillery whilst you have random unmuted people talking to one another about what dinner to cook the next day, whilst others trying to ask questions to the distiller. Dont worry. You can ask your questions by using the comments box to type out anything you want to know. Phil will then ask the questions to the Distiller, he is making sure you are still able to interact so for that, we tip our imaginary hats to him as it must be difficult making sure that the high number of people are engaged. We also want to mention Niamh Wallis who also helps to facilitate everyone to know about up coming virtual tours.
Once you are in, pour yourself a drink, sit back watch and listen as they take you through the history of their company, the different spirits they produce and how. For any Gin enthusiast this is interesting as you get to know the other botanicals and the process from copper still to bottle.
You will then have their Master Mixologist who will take you through the previous sent list of cocktails to try. We are all making the cocktails together, which, watching everyone shaking away will bring a smile to your face.
To us, with the many cancelled events we had planned to go to, this helps fill the void, but also seeing people we would have seen at these events, namely eachother. Having a little giggle seeing our faces on the event and tilting our glass to cheers everyone that is there uplifts you. It also helps that they run a little competition working out THE KEY WORD that is said a few times, double win for you if you manage to work out the word. Us typing Crabs a few times, even though not the key word seemed questionable what we were telling other people.
All Virtual Tours with other companies are different. Since lockdown we have done a few but this one, just seeing everyone else who is on the “call” makes it so much more fun. Other Tours we have been on, although informative & interesting, they dont show everone on. You miss the small side smiles you have with others to see that all of us are enjoying the same drink.
Of the Sipping Rooms Virtual Tours we have done, we have been thankfully gifted the bottles, which we will review separately on our Blog as there is alot to talk about on each one.
Who else can we watch?
We have managed to only miss one so far & the next is soon on July 1st. So if you want to join click on the links below. With the Social distancing easing as I write this, maybe the end of Virtual tasting will soon be over?
As we finally venture (& safely) out our homes, it could be these will end, but if this happens again we know the beverage industry can keep showcasing their Gins to us in the comfort of everyone’s homes.
LINKS TO JOIN/BUY
FOLLOW THEM ON INSTAGRAM
All photographs taken by @two_gindependent_women