The Liquorists’ Gincident

26 Aug

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a booze cruise called Gincident would be impossible not to wreak havoc on. Considering said do contained a potent brew of sipping spirits, lethal cocktails and gin and tonics aplenty, all hosted on a canal boat traversing the waterways of Manchester and Salford, I was slightly trepidatious to say the least.

Throw into the mix my history of becoming a serious narky knickers when quaffing gin, plus a gregarious group of Manchester food bloggers and friends on board, my expectations were no lower than total ruin (and potentially a dip in the disgustingly dirty Irwell).

All Aboard

All Aboard

I should have known better, my friends. Having been on many a night out hosted by The Liquorists – talented bar aficionados that they are – not only was the evening highly educational, but also included a boat load of delicious fodder, which curtailed the worst excesses of this emotionally efficacious drink.

Thankfully, it also helped deliver on their no hangover guarantee, resulting in a surprisingly fresh-faced lady the following day, and a new love for food soaked in (and chased) with gin. All hosted on a beautifully kitted out canal boat with the charismatic Tom Sneesby and Jamie Jones as our comperes, all in all, Gincident proved to be without incident.

Jamie Jones Talks Gin

Jamie Jones Talks Gin

Naturally, we were pissed. Three shots of gin to sip started the evening off spectacularly. Each glass demonstrated the development of the spirit from its earliest incarnation as jenever – the first juniper distilled spirit made popular during the 17th century by the Dutch – to the distilling of the far drier, London-style gin, first enjoyed on a mass scale during Britain’s 18th century’s gin craze.

Immortalised in Hogarth’s Gin Lane – a social commentary on the widespread impact of the then cheap and sanitised drink on the poor of the day, we thankfully experienced far more refined gin brands such as the classic Plymouth Gin, not to mention some of the more creative boutique labels of the likes of the elegant and floral Bloom Gin.

Gincident Food

Gincident Food

The food came served with the classic G&T, making good use of the world’s first premium gin – Martin Miller’s Gin – and Fever Tree Tonic. Accompanied by the back story of the quinine-laced mixer being paired with the spirit during the reign of the British Raj in India to help prevent malaria, we digested said information whilst diving into the delicious food. Cured salmon with gin soaked cucumber (seriously good), delicately spiced and fragrant ham flecked with juniper and cous cous and a melt-in-the-mouth strawberry and feta salad as a pseudo dessert.

Message Gin a Bottle

Message Gin a Bottle

Continuing the mouth-watering trend for intense flavours, the cocktails were a master class in creative naming and clever ingredient combinations. ‘Message Gin a Bottle’ (for real) was a personal favourite – an easy-going combination of Martin Miller, Kaffir lime, jasmine tea and The Liquorists’ homemade ginger beer – all packaged in a short green bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. Surprisingly classy, despite the wrapping.

La Floraison D'être

La Floraison D’être

The highlight of the evening was the ‘La Floraison D’être’ from Jamie, winning cocktail and bartender of the 2013 Gin Connoisseur Programme with G’Vine Gins. Making poetic use of their Floraison Gin, whisked up with framboise, elderflower tonic water, lemon juice, pink peppercorns, olive oil (?!) and egg white, this delicately perfumed and lighter than air cocktail finished our evening beautifully, and unsurprisingly, merrily too.

With no hint of the gin monster in sight, it was one of the silliest and simultaneously scholarly evening’s I’ve had in a good while. Good company from the likes of North West Nosh and Manchester Foodies (both who have also written up excellent reviews), great cocktails making skills from The Liquorists’ Massimo and generously portioned and delicious food from the kitchen, we skipped to shore and took our happy gin-gurning faces off into the night, wishing we could set sail and experience Gincident all over again.



Luckily for you, there still a few September sessions left aboard the good ship gin. Check out the dates here. Bon voyage!

P.S. These elegantly shot photographs are evidently not my own – you’ve seen my other efforts. Instead, they’re from a talented chap by the name of Peter Sheppard whose work you can find at


One Response to “The Liquorists’ Gincident”

  1. helenfrancesca August 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    SO GOOD. So wanna get aboard! Nice work L x

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