Gin Events, Gin Joints

Drink Here: The Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion

2015HENDRIC_ASVLike gin? Going to Edinburgh Fringe this year? Looking for something a little different to do in-between shows? Curious enough to magnifiy your mind, fall into a state of hypnagogia, experience your gin in a completely new way? Good, then you need to get your fine self down to the most unusual Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion (#HESS) on 91 George Street, Edinburgh, pronto.

Cucumber HQ promised “a synesthetic playground of wondrous experiments and entertainments lubricated with most unusual libations throughout – a fully immersive experience that will let you discover and experience the uniqueness of Hendrick’s Gin through the mediums of sound and taste. You will leave a smidgeon more educated, a great deal more titillated and a whole imperial tonne more befuddled by the absurd abilities of your very own senses.” – and they weren’t wrong. What an experience!

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Part cocktail tasting, part gin lesson, part experiment, part theatre, the HESS is not to be missed. The delightful Cacophony bar is filled with oddities as only you’d expect from Hendrick’s – everything from rose and cucumber listening devices to Pavlov’s dog to the elaborate ‘Phantasmagorical Cognitive Drinking Topper Hat’ that lulls you into a state of hypnagogia as you sip your way through a spectacular cocktail menu, mixed expertly by a suitably dapper team. The bar is free to all and is well worth a visit.

IMG_20150813_192638But for the truly curious, you must take part in the immersive experience – for just twenty-four Great British Pounds you experience 5 Hendrick’s drinks and learn an awful lot about yourself, the way your mind works in relation to taste and leave with a delightfully satiated palette. Hendrick’s don’t do things by halves – they worked with world-leading sound artist Mark IJzerman from the University of Utrecht to deconstruct the cocktail tasting experience and present it in a new way. Here’s an overview of our night on the immersive experience:

The Quietest Bar on Earth

Here, adorned in white gowns, we entered a white room and enjoyed a dry martini in complete silence. Issued with noise cancelling headphones, our host used boards with words on to talk us through a conscious mediation that was designed to quite the mind and the palette. A most unusual experience and completely unexpected – I can’t remember the last time I sat in complete silence for 10 minutes. Hearing your own heart beat in your ears and your own breathing whilst surrounded by other people was awfully strange, but actually helped you focus on the flavour if the martini, which was delightful. Hendrick’s is a superb gin in a martini – really soft and floral.

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The Audio-gastrotorium Laboratory

Next, in a science lab classroom, we explored and learned about how our sensory stimuli are all interconnected. Presented with 3 vials of different coloured liquid, we were invited to put some headphones on and, using a flavour wheel, describe the three different gins. A most unexpected outcome – I won’t give the game away, but this was probably the most interesting room and a fascinating experience.

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The Quantumphysical Soundscape of Hendrick’s Gin

In a deep red room, we were invited to play with a most curious contraption designed to “uncover the secret quantumphysical voice of cocktails as we amplify the effect one has on the vibration of concoction’s sub-atoms” – we basically “played” our cocktails as you would instruments – the best way I can describe this was like playing a theremin. An absolutely fascinating experience and fun way to enjoy a cocktail!

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Sonic Cucumber Bath

The final room was a zen like oasis – in the midst of the crazy festival, this was truly lovely. Here, we enjoyed a sonic sound bath led by a gongologist – basically playing tibetan singing bowls and a gong while you lie back and fall into a state of deep relaxation. We finished off the experience with a an alarmingly green coloured liquid called ‘cucozade’ – which in fact tasted delicious.

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All in all an amazing experience and one not to be missed! More info and tickets:

  • Location: 91 George Street from 7th – 30th August 2015.
  • The full Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion experience runs every hour from 6pm – 11pm, Wednesdays to Sundays. Each experience lasts approximately two hours and will be undertaken in groups of 20.
  • Tickets for the full experience cost £24 (including drinks) and can be purchased from https://www.edfringe.com.
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Bombay Sapphire, Gin Events

The Bombay Sapphire Ultimate Gin Terrace

Summer in London is one of the most wonderful times of year – the City is alive with tourists, the hanging baskets on every street are in full bloom, the open park spaces are full of sunglassed, beautiful people and, most importantly, our National drink of choice flows freely around the Capital.

When The Gin Club heard that Bombay Sapphire had teamed up with The Rosewood to bring a most delightful gin experience to London, we of course knew we would be heading over to check it out. The Bombay Sapphire Ultimate Gin & Tonic Terrace is inspired by the exotic botanicals in Bombay Sapphire and is definitely worth a visit.

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The venue and dressing of it is comfortable and subtly branded – a welcome respite from the usually brash branded events and pop-ups around the City. Each of the tables and chairs are adorned with an exclusively commissioned fabric design created by Jonathan Chadwick that showcased the story of the gin.

A menu of serves (each priced at £14.50 per drink) surprised and delighted with a detailed description that emotively evoked the elegant flavour profiles to come. Thank goodness the menu was strong because our server from The Rosewood had not actually tried any of them so was unable to recommend or talk us through them. No problem though, the good folk at Bombay Sapphire picked up on this immediately and promptly sent a complimentary round to the table.  Well played, Bombay. Well played.

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With botanicals that are less outspoken than those in the Hendrick’s and Sacred’s of this world, Bombay really lends itself to innovative serves. For example,the ‘Indonesian Twist’ was complemented by a tea bag of pink peppercorns, star anise and lemongrass. Whilst some gin lovers may have recently overlooked Bombay Sapphire in favour of one of the many craft or boutique gins on the market, these serves really brought Bombay back to life and reminded us how versatile and rich a gin it really is (and always has been).

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The terrace at The Rosewood is quiet and hidden away so there is absolutely no need to rush, we sipped slowly and just enjoyed the colonial ambience reminiscent of days gone by. We stayed late into the evening when the tea candle lanterns were lit and the temperature dropped, which simply added to the atmosphere.

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Those tweeting and instagramming with #UltimateGT are currently being entered into a prize draw to win a night at The Rosewood too – a lovely way to inspire and thank guests for sharing. We would have loved to see some suitable food pairings, but in absence, you can order from the usual Holborn Dining Room menu.

The terrace is still open until August 28th, so you’ve still time to pop in.We definitely recommend booking as when we arrived at 6.30, the terrace was already full and we had to wait a little while for our table. For enquiries visit: www.rosewoodhotels.com/London BYO Pith Helmet and Plus Fours!

Gin Club rating: 4 junipers/ 5.

Chat to us on twitter:  @The_Gin_Club

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