Winchester Wine Festival

Back in November team Winchester Cocktail Week headed along to the Winchester Wine Festival. We were joined by Paul Bowler, the brains behind Winchester Distillery, who helped out as we served negronis to the Wine Festival crowd and drummed up some excited interest in our week long celebration of mixology. Some might say that before lunch on a Saturday is perhaps not the ideal time to enjoy a dignified blend of gin, vermouth and Kamm & Sons but to these people Winchester Cocktail Week says, ‘nonsense!’

November’s event was the second Winchester Wine Festival and we hope that there are many more to come. Chatting to the guests on the day it was clear that the people who attend the festival really know their wine and what’s more, they travel from far and wide to browse the stands at the Guildhall event. Winchester Cocktail Week spoke to connoisseurs from across Hampshire as well as guests from Wiltshire and Berkshire, plenty of Londoners who had taken a day trip away from the fumes of the city and even one particularly dedicated guest who had made the journey all the way from Birmingham.

As you would expect from people who have dedicated their weekend to sampling an impressive variety of fine wines, the guests we spoke to over at the Winchester Cocktail Week stand had plenty of informed questions to ask about our cocktail creations. From what informed the choice of gin – we used export strength Tanquery by the way – to what exactly was this Kamm & Sons – a spirit which very few people, apart from those who perhaps frequent some of the capital’s cooler cocktail bars, had heard of. The more inquisitive among you will no doubt be interested to learn that the bitter aperitif is a blend of 45 botanicals and the recipe took five years to develop. The key flavours include grapefruit, Manuka honey, and ginseng. It’s unique flavour had many customers asking where they could track down a bottle.

It’s clear that there is a strong connection between wine lovers and cocktail lovers and we hope to see many of those same faces returning for Winchester Cocktail Week in February. Judging by the excited reactions of the customers we spoke to – from a group of young guys making a start on what sounded like an impressive stag do to two friends celebrating an 80th birthday party – they will be back. Why not join them? Buy a wristband today and get ready to shake it up in the city.