Visiting Italy’s Most Important Gin Festival

The Gin Day began in 2012, in the early days of the gin boom. The purpose was to offer a place for the ever-increasing number of gin brands to represent their products and a chance for bartenders to learn more about the growing category. The exhibition is organised in Milan by, and it has allowed many well-known bartenders to host seminars and tastings or simply create quality cocktails at the event. This year we were also celebrating the 100th birthday of our beloved classic, the one and only Negroni.

Negroni barP1100745-2

When I first visited the show in 2016 entry was free, and the venue was filled with industry professionals. This year I found The Gin Day had more stalls, including more brands from across Italy. Today, the tickets could be bought for €10, which allowed more entries by consumers, not just trade.

The fair consisted of tasting rooms, seminars (although mainly in Italian) and an array of stalls where you had the chance to chat with gin producers from around the world. They had a nice mix of gins available, anything from new and old to crafts and classic, local producers and distillers from further afield. Whether some of the gins on offer could be considered gin is debatable – you know how I feel about this topic… For example, I did see Unicorn Tears at one of the stalls!

Old Tom Gin

This year there were three bars dedicated to different serves of gin; the G&T, Negroni and Martini. I especially enjoyed people watching in the Martini bar. Italians tend to dress to impress on every possible occasion!

Overall, I found the event interesting, but if the gin category keeps on growing, I don’t see how they will manage in the same venue for next year as the space was already pretty packed compared to when I first visited a few years ago. I would also have liked to see a wider selection of food served – it’s Italy after all…


Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the event as a guest by Gin Italy and therefore my fees were covered. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

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