Yesterday I took part in Italy’s only gin fair known as The Gin Day. The event is held in Milan over two days and is organised by Bartenders.it. Unlike many other events, the fair is conveniently held on a Sunday and Monday when most bartenders will be enjoying a well-deserved day off.
The Gin Day started in 2012 at the beginning of the ‘gin era’ to meet the needs of an increasing number of producers and to give diligent bartenders a better chance of understanding such a booming market. The Fair consists of tasting rooms, seminars (both in Italian and in English) and an array of stalls where you have the chance to chat with gin producers from around the world. Oh and it is all free, you just need to provide proof you work in the industry even if it’s not in Italy (basically bring your business card if you have one).
I enjoyed meeting a fellow Finn from Kyrö Distillery Company. Jussi told me about their new Koskue Gin matured in sherry casks (I loved it!). Did you know their products are now available in 17 countries?! Go Finland!
Another interesting stall was the Copenhagen Distillery with their amazing Orange Gin and Dry Gin. The Orange Gin is made purely for cocktails, and tasted almost like chocolate orange. Their Dry Gin is the world’s first honey-based gin and has only one botanical, juniper. Jesper was so enthusiastic about their gin – I love seeing people with such a passion for their products!
In fact, a lot of people in Milan’s gin fair were super excited about the various projects they are involved with and my visit brought home to me what an increasingly innovative and evolving sector the craft gin market has become. In some ways it reminded me of some whisky fairs I have been to, where the depth of knowledge and interest in the spirit is clear, although interestingly in this developing Gin world the ‘crowd’ seems younger and more dynamic…I wonder where they will lead us…