Name: Natalie Button
Blog Name: Gin Obsessions
Blog URL: 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 did you get into the world of 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?
I became a mum for the first time in November (2019) so most of my free time at the moment is taken up with our little man, Torin. Thankfully he’s a good sleeper, which means I’ve still had the time to work on my blog whilst on maternity leave. Come September I’ll be back in the classroom, trying to remember how to be a primary school teacher, a job which I absolutely adore and I’ve really missed. 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!
Who is your blog for and who should have a read?
I’d like to think that my blog is for anyone who is interested in gin and is looking to find out a little more about not only the spirit but the people behind it. My writing style is quite chatty and personal, light-hearted and very down to earth. I try not to focus too heavily on tasting notes, everyone has different palates, so there are no real rights or wrongs and I hope this is reflected in my writing. My articles give background to the distillers and their distilleries, looking at what inspired them to start working with gin and what their aspirations are for the future…with a few cheeky cocktail recipes thrown in for good measure, of course.
What gins would you always have on your gin shelf?
I remember how difficult I used to find this question, but as I’ve tried more gins it’s surprisingly becoming easier to answer rather than harder. I am a huge fan of HYKE gin by Foxhole Spirits and I get so cross with myself if I run out without having another bottle on order. Hubby and I are currently having something of a love affair with Biggar Gin and our shelf wouldn’t be complete without their bottles. I think it’s also important to have a good classic cocktail gin, at the moment we’re using East London Liquor Company’s London Dry Gin which is great and ridiculously reasonably priced.
Can you tell us about your fantastic gin collection? (#ginshelfie below)
So, the eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that the alphabet starts twice on my gin shelf. The top shelf is made up of empty bottles…it sits at a rather precarious angle and I’m desperately worried that any full bottles placed on there may be lost to the floor. My gin wall also only has enough room to get me to ‘T’ so the rest of the gins are on another shelf!
What is your favourite way to serve gin?
Can I say straight from the bottle? In all seriousness I do love a nice cold, ice cold G&T, and I prefer mine with Fever-Tree light tonic water. Cocktail wise, I’m a sucker for a Negroni or a Martini, specifically a HYKE Martini. Then, 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.
Do you have a favourite gin event that you'd recommend?
It seems such a funny question at the moment, during the World’s hissy fit that is COVID-19, I feel like I’ve forgotten what live events are. Over the past few months I have absolutely loved the virtual tour and tasting events which distilleries are hosting and I think people really should keep an eye out for these. I really do hope they continue post COVID as it has made far off distilleries so accessible. For example, back in April, I had a tour around the Manly Spirits Distillery over in Australia!
What is your top tip for people just starting to discover gin?
Keep on trying different gins served in different ways until you find what suits you. There are so many gins out there that it may take a while for you to work out exactly what it is you like. Don’t dismiss a gin just because you don’t like it the first way it is served, take it as an opportunity to experiment.
Do you have a top tip for aspiring gin bloggers?
First and foremost, don't worry about writing to try to impress or please other people; write honestly about your passion. Honesty is paramount, you aren’t going to like every gin so don’t feel you have to say you do. At the same time just because a gin is not to your taste doesn’t make it bad, so be tactful when addressing things like this. Lastly, take the time to build up relationships, with brands and with fellow gin lovers. The gin community is a great one to be a part of, with so many people willing to share their knowledge it’s a wonderful learning environment.
What do you think is next in the gin industry?
With the way things are at the moment, goodness only knows. I suspect that virtual tours and tastings will continue, becoming much more commonplace. Climate change is hugely topical at the moment; many distilleries have already developed more eco-friendly, sustainable approaches to their processes and I think over the coming months we will see more distilleries following suit.
Head over to Gin Obsessions to discover more of Natalie's articles, thoughts, tips and recommendations!