The Liquorists and the Gincident on the barge

Photography by

In ye olden days, gin was drunk on board ship by the officers, whilst the rankers and lowly types glugged rum, and a lot of it. With this in mind, the most recent Liquorists session must have been attended by officers and gentlemen as Gin was the order of the day and in biblical quantities. ‘To Death and Dread disease…!’

Mmmm Haymans Gin
Mmmm Haymans Gin

As you will hopefully have read in THE leading bar industry website, (Andy sort code 40-40-34, account number 0121-fuckin-do-1. The agreed amount, ok…) We at Liquorists HQ have been putting on independent and diverse training and tasting session for the Bartenders and booze hounds of the North West.

Our biggest and best passed a week ago, Gin and Genever, on a Barge (gin palace of sorts), we called it ‘the Gincident’.

Fifty of the ablest minds in the North gathered to cloud those minds with juniper and shit, they rose like the un-dead for 11am to sup G&T’s by the water, then boarded our majestic vessel as we took them through the weird and wonderful world of gin.

Gathered together on our love boat were over 30 gins and half dozen genevers. Offerings from Hayman’s, Beefeater, Jensen’s, Citadelle, Blackwoods, Tanqueray Bombay, 209, Caorunn, Sipsmith, Whitley Neill, Plymouth, Seagram’s, Millers and more, as well as Zuidam and Bols Genevers. A fine selection i’m sure you will agree….

And fuck me they tried ‘em all

The Purpose of bringing all these brands together in one place without a heavy brand lean is to offer the face to face decision makers, bartenders, the chance to get inside the products they sell, to sip and savour, to form long term valid opinions and create new brand loyalties. To allow impoverished barkeeps the chance to have a ‘tom Collins off’, or see which makes the best martini. And fuck me they tried ‘em all!!

We kicked everything off with a presentation on Genever, Dutch courage, with Tom Sneesby, Jody Monteith and our very own tame Dutchman. Some say he sees everything in shades of orange, others that if Holland win the World cup he will revert to his true identity, Arjen Robben, and destroy the non-dutch world. All we know is that he is called Joannes Hubertus van Goethem…!

This shambolic, effort, marred by a lack of sea legs this early in the journey, was followed by a giant of a scot, a man whose email is (humbly!!), twat. Craig Harper strode purposefully to the bow of the ship, and with every eager eye upon him swore through 60 minutes of entertaining, informative and, at times, emotional gingenius.

Liquoristas in rapt attention

Endless thanks must go that man from the Liquorists you stole the show. Craig held the fifty strong audience through the history and production of Gin, and whilst mercilessly mocking certain pillars of the community (I had to gin and bear it…..brilliant), thoroughly unwrapped the juniper bastard and, again, thanks and love go out to him.

Abandon  not seen since my ex wife tore into the Wigan rugby league team

Another giant took his bows in Tim Barnes. A hero indeed, he in words of one syllable and drawings in crayon walked everyone through ‘my favourite gin cocktail, the Tom Collins by timothy barnes, aged 8’. The best made on the day, but what else do you expect. Gin genius of the Autistic kind.

With that the barge was transformed from a classroom to a playground as it seamlessly slipped its academic guise and the gathered tore into the selection with an abandon  not seen since my ex wife tore into the Wigan rugby league team, the whore. Sorry that was meant for Jeremy Kyle….

The feedback was fantastic, as tearful rookies sipped luscious libations ne’er before sampled and the boat rocked. The post match review came at a local bars balcony with bbq and more g&ts (you see where this is going..), as the rest of the scorching sun was caught. And so to Socio..

The assembled masses flooded the bar at Socio for the Liquorists cocktail comp, blind judged and of a high standard the bar wizards worked their magic. Tom Vernon of the host bar scooped first and broke his Liquorists jinx, followed by Jon boy again of Socio Rehab, then came the tame Dutchie, Joannes who took a third consecutive third place with another ridiculous drink, and sealed a Socio 1,2,3…. Specs can be found at the bottom of the page.

Big thanks go to…

Hmmmm Beefeater Gin
Hmmmm Beefeater Gin

A big thanks must go out to Hayman’s and Beefeater for providing us with great support and their fabulous products, They really helped the Gincident take place. More thanks to Angela, Justin, Ervin, Gordon, Alex Johnson, Tim, Shep and more whose names would not fit, all the contributors for their stock and love, and again Craig Harper.

Next for the Liquorists is a 10 man, Manchester vs Glasgow cocktail competition for the bragging rights up the road, north of the border on the 9th of August, then a cricket match towards the end of August, rummy as fuck.


The Liquorists

Cocktail specs

1st place – Tom Vernon, Socio Rehab

‘Rosie and Gin’

  • 50ml Beefeater
  • 5ml Ginger and lemongrass cordial
  • 10ml Maraschino liqueur
  • 20ml Lillet rouge
  • 2 Dash grapefruit bitters
  • 10ml White cacao

Shake and strain into fancy cocktail glass garnish with a suck up Liquorists business card

2nd Place, Socio Rehab

‘Gin and the giant Peach’

  • 35ml Hayman’s London dry
  • 25ml Lemon juice
  • 2 Barspoon caster sugar
  • 15ml Antica Formula
  • 25ml Apple juice
  • Dash egg white
  • 2 Dash peach bitters

Dry shake, wet shake and strain into flute

3rd Place – Joannes van Goethem, Socio Rehab

‘Dutch all over the world’

  • 3 Strips of Potato peel (!!!)
  • 3 Raspberries
  • 20ml Lemon juice
  • 1 Inch peeled cucumber
  • 3 Basil leaves
  • 50ml Beefeater
  • Dash gomme syrup