[PR Invite] – I was kindly invited to the Press Night for the GiNN Collection by Northants Life and Gin & Temple. I have no obligation to write a blog post but because this was EVERYTHING I love about Northamptonshire, I wanted to write a blog post!
What are my two passions in life: Gin (lots of it) and promoting and showcasing all that is good about the Northamptonshire independent food producer scene.
Little did I know you could put these two things together to create a gin collection that celebrates both things with a knock-out event that celebrated these things: The GiNN Collection.
Northampton Life has teamed up with G&T’s to create a collection of Northamptonshire inspired cocktails using only local produce. Each cocktail has been created with a local gin and local produce food pairings such as I’m Real Ice Cream, The Little Bakery of Happiness, Whites Nurseries Fruit and St Giles Cheese!
I was invited to the Press Night by Lisa, who many know as The Beauty Type, but is also the Editor of local Northamptonshire publication, Northants Life, for a collaboration between them at Gin & Temple.
It was a night that also meant bringing together some of the local blogging community together, which is always a fabulous way to catch up and it’s also nice to see a local publication celebrating our community by inviting us to showcase the event.
Gin and Temple, for a start, has easily become one of my favourite Gin Bars on St Giles Street and I’ve been numerous times now for meetings over a cheeky G&T as well as sampling their Afternoon Tea before anyone else – so it was a great venue for this particular event and a great collaboration between them and Northants Life.
The four local gin’s involved in this event were Warner’s Distillery, Hustle Gin, Phipps NBC and New Town Gin from Wharf Distillery; all four of which I have tried before and love individually because of all their unique features, branding, ethos, messaging and tastes.
With these four gins, Gin & Temple came up with some unique Northampton inspired food pairings which would only enhance the gin experience.
For my welcome drink when I first arrived, I went for the ‘Bondfield’s Hustle’ which is a drink named after Margaret Bondfield, who was the first woman minister to be voted in Parliament and was from Northampton – and Hustle Gin are a fantastic local gin brand who celebrate all things women – so it was a perfect fit!
The food pairing for this particular cocktail as part of the press evening was a Banana, Cardamom and White Chocolate Freckle ice cream from local producers, i’m real ice cream, who I reviewed their ice cream back in the Summer – so I knew it was going to be a winning combination. The reason behind this unique pairing? Just for our enjoyment, apparently!
The second gin pairing I tried was the ‘Old Northamptonian’ which consisted of Phipps Oak Aged Gin served with a side of local cheese and crackers from (my #1 cheese favourite) Cobblers Nibble from St Giles Cheese, who are situated just down the road from Gin & Temple.
Although the Phipps Gin had a strong, almost whisky taste, with the Cobblers Nibble, it really settled the flavours and had a lovely blend.
Now I can’t write this blog post without saying a bit about Lisa.
Since she joined Northants Life, she has taken the publication from strength to strength and having organised events in the past, I think she did a stellar job. She made a great speech talking about the reason behind the collaboration, ultimately, to showcase what Northamptonshire has to offer and you could tell she put a lot of heart, soul and effort into this event.
It was also nice for the Gin & Temple guys to demonstrate the reasons behind why they paired certain foods with the gins and it’s clear that they are keen to continue working and supporting our local gin distilleries.
Other Gin Cocktails on the menu include Cricks Copa, which uses Wharf Distillery New Town Lemon & Basil Gin, served with a Lemon Drizzle Cake from The Little Bakery of Happiness, who I have had the pleasure of talking to Kirsty and seeing her go from a small business to a thriving bakery that has just opened at Nene Court – it was lovely to catch up with her and the lemon drizzle cake was light, fluffy and oh so zesty!
And the final cocktail was the G&T’s Lem-Nene-Ade (see the Northants reference?) which uses Warner’s Raspberry Gin with Fentimans Victorian Lemonade. I have previously tried this cocktail combination before and I can tell you, it’s made so much better with the lemon tonic!
For the press night, this cocktail was paired with Whites Nurseries Raspberries and Strawberries for the garnish, which made this cocktail look very pink!
Overall, the evening was a major success and I found myself having so much fun networking with new people, talking to food producers such as The Little Bakery of Happiness and the Hustle Gin ladies and it was a great opportunity to mingle with other bloggers – I even got to have a go at making a cocktail behind the bar!
The cocktail collection will be available as a cocktail special throughout the month of September (minus the food pairings, sorry guys!) so make sure you head down to Gin & Temple to sample the most Northamptonshire themed cocktails you’ll ever have!
I secretly hope they continue with them and perhaps create new ones, so I’m guessing if I put it out there, it’ll happen, right?