Name: Natalie Button
Blog Name: Gin Obsessions
Blog URL: www.ginobsessions.com
Summary: Musings of my gin fuelled escapades, from gin days with my friends through to cooking with gin, with a few gin reviews thrown in for good measure.
How and why did you get into gin?
The obsession certainly began when I first started dating my now Hubby; we both had a fondness for gin and I suppose we spurred each other on. I remember us going to Wilderness Festival in 2014 and Hubby packed a bottle of gin and small bottles of bitter lemon, "for morning gins" he told me. When we were there we discovered the Fever-Tree Gin Van and that was it - my eyes had been opened to the utter deliciousness.
At this point the gin craze hadn't really hit, so it has been amazing to see just how far gin has come. As time went on we became more gin crazy. At our wedding the tables were named after gins and we even started our own mini gin club for our friends. Hubby kept dropping hints that I should start a blog to spread the word of gin and as a new hobby. So, one day I conceded and here we are!
What else do you do as well as gin blogging?
As well as blogging I'm a primary school teacher, a job which I absolutely adore. It's long hours and hard work, but the kids are great and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. As much as I love working with kids everyday, I definitely feel that by the end of the day I have earned my gin! Plus, the holidays allow me a gin day with my fellow teacher friends at least once every six weeks.
Who is your blog for and who should have a read?
My blog is light-hearted and very down to earth; I try not to approach the topic of gin with any pretentiousness. I don't profess to know all there is to know about gin, but I love the stuff. If it's gin related, I'll blog about it - gin events, gin products, gin cocktails, cooking with gin recipes, and of course the occasional gin review. It's easy to go online and find out about the perfect serve and what you "should" do with a gin, but we are all different. Everyone has different palates, so there are no rights or wrongs and I hope my blog reflects that.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf?
My all-time favourite gin is Daffy's Gin, it's distilled in Edinburgh and uses Lebanese mint. It's one of the few gins which I enjoy neat over ice because it is so crisp and clean.
Following on from that, in no particular order, Black Tomato Gin, which I tried recently and is completely eye-opening. Pickering's Gin, another Edinburgh gin, was our top table gin at our wedding and is utterly delicious, particularly with a slice of pink grapefruit. If you haven't tried Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin then that is a must, along with Marylebone Gin. For a supermarket 'go-to' everyday staple, I'll always choose Bloom Gin. As you can probably tell, I like the slightly sweeter, floral gins.
Can you share a #GinShefie!?
What is your favourite way to serve gin?
It really depends on my mood, the weather, the time of day... there are just so many variables! On a bank holiday Sunday, there's no better way to start the day than with a gin and bitter lemon, or a red snapper. Getting ready for an evening out I love a Ginjito made using Daffy's Gin or Unicorn Tears made with Gunpowder Gin, Chambord, Edinburgh Gin's Elderflower Liquor and Prosecco... my oh my! Although nothing beats a simple G&T after a long day at work with the kids.
Do you have a favourite gin event that you'd recommend?
In July this year I went to an amazing gin event at the Eat Food Festival in Reigate. Ginpourium were running their first Gin Fight, where six gin cocktails were competing to be crowned gin champion. Your ticket gained you entry to the food fair and amongst other things, six cocktails and a voting card to choose your favourite. Zoe and James, the founders of Ginpourium, are absolutely lovely and put on such a brilliant event that I would highly recommend going to their next one, I certainly will be.
What is your top tip for people just starting to discover gin?
There are so many gins out there that it may take a while for you to work out exactly what it is you like. Keep on trying different gins served in different ways until you find what suits you. There may be loads of suggestions for "the perfect serve" but there are no right or wrong choices. Alex at East London Liquor Co told me "how you enjoy your gin is up to you," try the same gin in lots of different ways, with different garnishes and mixers until you find what suits you. There are some gins that I thought I really didn't like until I tried then with a different tonic and I've even found a gin which has made me enjoy ginger ale, which I thought I absolutely hated!
Do you have a top tip for aspiring gin bloggers?
Just write, we are all learning all the time. First and foremost, don't worry about writing to try to impress or please other people; write honestly about your passion. I may not be the world's greatest writer, but I absolutely love writing about gin and if other people enjoy reading my blog then thats a bonus! The more you write, the better you'll become and you'll find your niche.
Take the time and put in the effort to build up connections. The gin community is a great one to be a part of. If you've got questions, just ask, just ask them. Try to establish relationships not only with other bloggers, but also with the distilleries and fellow gin lovers. We're all here to show the world how fabulous gin is!
What do you think is next in the gin industry?
Food pairings, without a doubt. It's already the norm with wine and I truly believe this is the way gin will go too. I already cook with gin and instead of putting my usual splash or red or white I will work out the flavour I want to enhance and use a spot of gin instead. This is why I was so excited to discover Black Tomato Gin, I genuinely believe it's a game changer in the gin world!
Have a read of the Gin Obsessions blog for yourself and discover more of Natalie's thoughts, tips and recommendations!