Tom Flint: Range of events to toast Sussex gins

Blackdown Gin (Photograph: Julia Claxton)
Blackdown Gin (Photograph: Julia Claxton)

I cannot quite believe it is August already. Autumn is drawing in and the days are getting shorter, wetter and colder.

This negativity is enough to drive anyone to drink, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I like a drink, lots of people do, and I am excited about the prospect of Sussex Gin Week.

Running from August 24 to September 3, Sussex Gin Week is a celebration of the tipple. Good old mother’s ruin has been going through quite a rebrand lately, and you cannot move for artisan gins in Brighton pubs these days. I’ve been a long-time fan of gin, and the explosion in new varieties and producers has been a fascinating time for people like me.

Sussex Gin Week is part of the Brighton Food Festival celebrations that take place around the bank holiday weekend. Gin week will be taking place across the city, with more than 20 venues already signed up to offer gin lovers a variety of special offers. There will also be a number of gin-themed events.

Brighton’s lavish seafront seafood specialists The Salt Room will be hosting the gin makers dinner on August 29. The superb Salt Room bar already stocks 27 gin varieties, and this dinner will feature gins from East London Liquor Company, Chilgrove and Blackdown. Experts from the brands will be on hand to answer your gin-based questions as you tuck into a three-course meal with matched drinks. Tickets are £75 per person and can be purchased from The Salt Room now.

One event I am hoping to attend is the gin and cheese pairing at La Cave à Fromage on August 30. The event is in conjunction with Brighton Gin Club (www.brightonginclub.com) and is notable for bringing together two of humanity’s greatest creations: gin and cheese.

If you are into foraging then the wild cocktail foraging walk and masterclass on August 31 should be right up your street. Hosted by The Queen Vic pub in Rottingdean, you will be taken on a stroll of Rottingdean and the surrounding downs to forage for herbs and shrubs to be used to make gin-based concoctions.

Finally, and this one is a must, get down to Hotel du Vin on September 2 for the festival of Sussex gins. For £20 you will get a tasting card allowing you to sample a range of Sussex gins, a goodie bag and a tasting glass with additional tokens available on the day if you are feeling brave. I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Come down to appreciate just how great Sussex gins have become and how many superb distilleries we have on our doorstep. The event is also in conjunction with Brighton Gin Club, so check out its site for details.

If you are feeling totally ‘ginspired’ to get involved in Sussex Gin Week then head to the Brighton Food Festival website for details, and, remember, he who dares gins!

Sussex Gin Week

{http://www.brightonfoodfestival.com|www.brightonfoodfestival.com