Regular readers of these pages will need no introduction to my favourite poison.
I'm not much of a gin expert, though. To rectify this, one sweltering Sunday Alice and I went on a mission of gin-education. We attended an event run by The Drinking Classes, called G and Teatime.
We weren't quite sure what to expect, but what we got was this: We were greeted with a glass of an absolutely delicious punch, which had been made, bizarrely but to great effect, with chai tea. Our host explained to us that proper punch has a specific ratio of sweet and sour. (Alice wrote it down, I was too busy drinking)
What followed was a history lesson about the origins and rise and fall of gin throughout the centuries, which came with some very interesting nuggets of info, such as how the phrase 'Dutch courage' came into being. We were given samples of three different gins to taste (neat!!) That was pretty painful (I love gin, but I like my G&Ts nice and tonic-y), but after the first sip has blown your head open, you can actually drink it much more easily and discern the different flavours.
We drank tiny gin martinis, designed our own G&Ts (I put apple and mint in mine - delicious!) and ate sandwiches and cakes from the afternoon tea cake stands.
Afterwards, we wobbled home, not really drunk but feeling very relaxed, sun-drenched and happy, and neither of us went to our rehearsals that night!