ALDC hosts ground-breaking Gin Tasting

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Alistair Carmichael MP has hosted a Whisky Tasting at conference (and elsewhere) for many seasons.

This year, the Association of Liberal Democrats (ALDC) responded to the recent explosion in the gin market by hosting a Gin Tasting – called “Ginning Here”. This was heralded as the first political gin tasting ever.

Held, with great panache, at the Hermitage Hotel, Wendy Chamberlain led this bibulous saunter through a selection of tastebud-popping gins.

Wendy is our excellent PPC for North East Fife, where she is looking to overturn a current SNP majority of just two votes. In her day job, she works for Diageo, who produce Gordon’s and Tanqueray gins in vast quantities in the heart of Scotland.

Wendy guided us through three remarkable gins, and one gorgeous spirit, which are made in our target constituencies.

Gins from Harrogate and Knaresborough, Southport and North East Fife were tasted, helped by their respective PPCs, Judith Rogerson, John Wright and Wendy Chamberlain, our MC for the night.

Because she works for Diageo, Wendy has been on a proper course where they study gin down to molecular level. So she knows her gins. One of the things Wendy passed on to us is the requirement of a drink to be above 37.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and contain juniper, in order for it to be described as “gin”.

We started the evening by tasting a spirit which is 25% ABV and contains cardomom, coriander seed and black pepper. So, this is not an official gin, but nevertheless is a drop-dead-gorgeous drink. It is called “Trinity 25” by the “Spirit of Bermondsey” distillery. Bermondsey and Old Southwark PPC, Humaira Ali explained to us that “Spirit of Bermondsey” is a social enterprise which ploughs back profits into the local community.

The superb gins tasted were Lundin Distilling’s Gorse Gin, Whittaker’s Gin Original and Birkdale Craft Distillery’s Birkdale Gin.

Well done to ALDC for flawlessly hosting this lovely evening and particularly to Wendy Chamberlain for guiding us through the exciting world of gins with consummate skill!

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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