It was World Gin Day last Saturday 14th June, so my friend Kimmy and I decided to celebrate with a warm up event at the Oliver Conquest.
The Oliver Conquest is pretty much a gin bar – I think their stock of +180 different gins qualifies them for this moniker – they also serve Meantime beers and wine for those not so taken by gin, but it is the gin mecca for East London.
Close to both Tower Gateway and Aldgate East it’s been a frequent after work drink spot for our reading club – now known as the ‘gin club with a reading problem’… They actively encourage sampling of their wide selection – the menu lists around 120 of their gins with tasting notes and you can tick them off as you go and leave the menus behind the bar.
Kimmy and I managed to finish off one page last time we went – we felt proud! Anyway apart from lasting different gins and starring our favourites, we attended their cocktail making competition on the Friday before World Gin Day.
The brief was to create a cocktail using the gin from the Van Wees range as the base. You could anything else on the bar (well stocked!) and bring your own secret ingredient.
Our secret ingredient was lemon thyme, however some people got really creative with earl grey infused gin etc. The garnishes & ingredients provided were also wide ranging and different – the best was the rose petals that Kimmy used to garnish her rose flavoured version of a gin berry.
This was a second place winning combination meaning that we are now well stocked with Van Wees Dry London gin and Kimmy has purchased the rose liquor to be able to recreate her entry the Dutch Rose.
The winning cocktail was the Summer Fashioned, a summer version of an old fashioned using gin instead of whiskey, it’s on sale for the next month at the Oliver Conquest and you can try the gins we used in the competition there too.
I love the Oliver Conquest not just for its gin, but also for the warm welcome we get from the staff every time we go there – not having been in for 6 months they still remember the gin club, even if they don’t recognise me (yet!).
Inspired by the competition Tiva and I decided to continue the theme into Saturday, which was also the offical World Gin Day as well as being the day England played Italy. So we brought Elderflower flavoured gin, the rest of the lemon thyme, some raspberries and some flavoured water to the BBQ our friend was hosting.
We started off with gin martinis shaken with the lemon thyme – this was pretty much my entry to the cocktail competition, but without the sweet martini and using the Elderflower version instead of dry gin. These went down very well – we finished the bottle of gin between 6 of us!
Next up was a version of a berry Collins with the raspberries, lemon thyme and flavoured sparkling water – a longer less alcoholic drink.