As the name suggests, Gin Palace has had a long love affair with all things gin. For World Gin Day on June 14th, they will be celebrating by opening their doors early for the first time in their 16-year history. Feel like a martini at midday? The bartenders won’t bat an eyelid. In fact they’ll promptly hand you another. If two-for-one classic gin cocktails aren’t enough to tempt you, there will be gin-soaked sessions on offer led by experts who drink, live and breathe gin.
Proceedings will be kicked off by two of Australia’s finest new gin producers.
Making the hometown proud, Andrew Marks from the Melbourne Gin Company will host an informal gin breakfast for those first through the doors. French 75 cocktails of gin, sparkling wine, and citrus will be paired with brioche and marmalade. Before he came to distillation, Andrew earned his stripes in viticulture. Not only will he be on hand to talk about his grape-based gin but can be thanked for the sparkling wine and even the marmalade that make up this gin “breakfast”. For a more substantial but no less gin soaked start to the day, twenty guests will be treated to a The West Winds lunch. Deep in the ‘Swamp Room’, a bayou style bar hidden behind Gin Palace, Bar Ampere’s Jordan Dywer will reinterpret the Australian botanicals that make up this award winning gin. This modern three-course lunch will be matched with equally experimental cocktails. As a special bonus The West Winds will be launching their new navy strength gin on the day.
If gin isn’t exuding from your pores by 1pm then perhaps the next session is for you. Diageo’s Sean Baxter will be helping attendees create their own ‘gin perfume’. Tinctures like grapefruit rind, coriander seed, and angelica root are found in both your favourite perfumes and gins. This hands-on class is an opportunity to blend your own scent while learning about the precise balance of botanicals that make up Tanqueray 10. Tanquery 10 cocktails will of course be on hand.
Next up is ‘Mother’s Ruin’ with Gin Palace’s own Shaun Byrne. From 3 to 4:30 pm, this self-confessed bar geek will race through an abridged history of gin. There will be 10 tastings in all, incorporating Genevers, Old Toms, London Drys and Navy Strength. Attendees will discover how gin has evolved across the globe while discovering what style they prefer.
At 4pm Bar Ampere’s Ben Luzz will be spending an hour walking through some classic gin cocktails. The Gin Palace team is a big fan of Four Pillars, the newest Australian gin company to hit their shelves. Attendees will learn how to make and then sample a Four Pillars Martinez, Negroni, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz; classics that have shaped the cocktail world. Bartenders have built careers off the ‘original’ or ‘right’ way to make these supposedly simple drinks. This class is the first step towards understanding what all the fuss is about. Everyone will go home with a cheat sheet to boot.
Last but certainly not least is a Martini Masterclass sponsored by Bombay Sapphire with Australian Bartender of the Year Sebastian Raeburn. We’re not sure how much information the attendees will absorb after a few Martinis but Seb has a wealth of knowledge that he shall TRY to impart before the gin sinks in. Sebastian will be taking attendees through the history of three different martinis and exploring the science of dilution.
Sessions aside, two-for-one Negronis, Martinis, Tom Collins, Gin Old Fashioneds and Gin & Tonics by The West Winds, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Plymouth, Beafeater, Hayman’s, The Botanist, Four Pillars, Berry Bros, Gin Mare, Finsbury, and Melbourne Gin Company will be flowing from 12pm to 9pm. June 14 last year was Gin Palace’s biggest day ever, and with this stellar lineup World Gin Day 2014 promises to be even bigger.