REVELLERS and connoisseurs alike were able to enjoy more than 100 different types of gin as the Great British Gin Festival arrived in the city.
Festival goers could sample a vast array of gins including baked apple and salted caramel, blackcurrant and ginger, breakfast marmalade and even marshmallow.
Event manager, Peter Preston, said: ‘The event is completely sold out with more than 700 people here. Gin has become the drink of choice for many people. In addition to gins from around the UK we are also represented by six local traders from around the region.’
One gin which proved particularly popular with drinkers was the recently launched Fort Gin, distilled at Fort Cumberland by Portsmouth Distillery.
Director, Vincent R A Noyce, said: ‘It is great to have this festival in the city as it gives us the chance to fly the flag for a Portsmouth distillery.’
City resident, Bridget Wilmore, added: ‘I have tried the Fort Gin and it was very nice. It is great to have a gin festival in Portsmouth as well as a distillery to represent the city.’
As well as being entertained by acoustic band Jayce, festival goers could also enjoy a wide range of food and be adorned in glitter make-up.
Chris Elliott said: ‘With the music, food and different gins, it has been a great combination. A lot of the gins have been produced by small independent distillers – people who take a lot of care over their product. I think this is one of the reasons it is such a nice drink.’
Paula Sturt added: ‘There has been a really good atmosphere. My favourite gin has been the apple and salted caramel.’
For friend, Toni Phillips Munday, the festival highlights the growth in popularity of the drink.
‘Gin has become sexy again. There are so many different mixes and flavours. It is also a drink enjoyed equally by men and women,’ she explained.
Event production manager, Julie Dean, added: ‘I think it is the range of flavours and even the extravagant packaging which gives the drink its appeal. It used to be viewed as an older persons drink but we have had people here today from across the age spectrum, from 18 year olds to people who are retired.’