For the most part (89.5% of the time, at a rough estimate) I would consider myself a fully-functioning, responsible adult. I do all the socially expected adult things like hold down a job which lets me pay my rent, drink too much some of the time, exercise too little all of the time… tick, tick, tick… I have this ‘adulting’ thing sorted. But what about that other 10.5%? Well that’s reserved for silliness, pure child-like silliness: the days when I eat ice cream all day long, the times when I laugh at jokes about bodily functions, the moments when I throw a tantrum for no particular reason. Basically it’s whenever I stop, take stock and remember that being an adult is hard work, and that we all need to unleash the child within us every once in a while… and my most recent flashback to my childhood was thanks to Brockmans Gin. And no, I wasn’t a gin-fiend as a minor, but I was a slide (helter skelter for you Brits) enthusiast.
When I found out that Brockmans Gin were hosting their latest ‘Press For Gin’ event at the AcelorMittal Orbit, both my inner child and outer adult were bubbling with excitement. I couldn’t believe my luck; I could partake in one of my childhood loves (who didn’t enjoy those playground slides when they were little?) and one of my adult loves (cocktails, obviously) in the same night! I was grinning from ear to ear as I made my way to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park but as I got closer and closer to the AcelorMittal Orbit, that grin faded just a little and the butterflies arrived… I’m not really scared of heights, but my god this thing was tall… I knew that this is the world’s highest, longest tunnel slide but it wasn’t until I was standing at the bottom that it really sunk in.
As a three year old, I loved the seagull topped slide at Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park. It both terrified and thrilled me; I remember well my slow and steady climbs to the top with my parents shouting out words of encouragement from the bottom, and that feeling of my heart dropping as I started my descent. This experience was all that, and more. After donning the safety gear and getting into the slide sack thing, I literally zoomed through the 178m slide… circling round the AceleorMittal Orbit 12 times, taking in a few sharp twists, loops and turns along the way. Then a mere 40 seconds later, I was out the other end and back on terra firma, ready to be handed my first Brockmans G&T. While at ground level we were treated to a few rounds of canapes and a fiery show which really warmed up the crowd. But when the flames were out… it was time to head back up this most eye-catching yet bizarre sculpture.
At the top, we were greeted with a spectacular view across London in the dusk, an alluring setting for our canapes and cocktails, and of course the now infamous ‘Press for Gin’ button. When this button was pushed, but pushed sparingly and responsibly, the cocktails graced the table… it’s as simple as that! I’m no premium gin expert but after having dabbled in a few gin and tonics at home with the Brockmans, I believe them when they say this is a gin with a difference. We really liked the bright blueberry and blackberry flavours combined with the aromatic coriander and gingery orange notes; a shot paired perfectly with a scoop of a certain someone’s homemade lime sorbet and a splash of tonic! However at their event, the team got way more adventurous with their creations – we enjoyed it with a pretty pink soda, then in a twist on a traditional Tiki cocktail, before ending with a rather sexy gin sour with blackberry and grapefruit marmalade!
Alongside the cocktails, our responsible hosts promised us canapes but what we got was actually so much more. I loved the gin and berry marinaded smoked salmon with the celeriac remoulade, and the clever Brockmans caviar with almond blinis but the best dish was definitely the seared venison fillet with potato fondant and red cabbage jam. They wove the flavours of the gin itself into the dishes really well, and I was quite impressed by the execution of each plate, especially given the potential challenges with hosting an event in that environment.
Our bites of food and sips of cocktails were punctuated with some fantastic entertainment… it was hard to top the fire dancers but the acrobat pouring himself a drink mid-air, the ladies showing off their pet snakes, and the very talented singer certainly gave them a run for their money! A giant slide and a gin company may not be the most obvious of matches, but this is the gin with a difference and they sure do like to do things differently. I had an absolute blast at this Press For Gin event and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for their next one… in the meantime, can someone pass me another Brockmans G&T?!
Are you a fan of gin? Have you tried Brockmans Gin before?
Thanks to Brockmans Gin for making my slide and gin dreams come true, but as always, all opinions are mine and mine alone!
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