This time next week, we’re predicting you’ll be seated in one of 33 top Auckland bars, in the presence of fellow imbibers, with a refreshing, bespoke Gin & Tonic in hand. For the first time, the East Imperial Gin Jubilee will be arriving to NZ shores on Monday 27th February, giving you plenty of opportunities to taste test the best G&T’s the city has to offer.
From foraging ingredients on Great Barrier Island, participating in many a masterclass, indulging in long lunches, or gin and food pairing evenings, there’s no shortage of gastronomical experiences available to delight the senses and the palette.
But with so many events on the cards throughout the week-long Jubilee, deciding where to imbibe can be a little overwhelming. Lucky you, then, we’ve pulled together a curated list of where to go, what to do and how to make the most of Auckland’s first ever gin festival. You’re welcome.
Monday 27 February: The Botanist Foraging on Great Barrier Island
This exclusive full-day event will see guests travel to Great Barrier Island to forage for ingredients with The Botanist Gin. Limited giveaway tickets are available. Will you be one of the lucky ones?
Details: Entry invitation only
Tuesday 28 February & Wednesday 1 March: Devonport Local’s Cocktail Comp
Head along to Tiny Triumphs on Auckland’s North Shore to watch as professional bartenders and bartender amateurs compete in Devonport’s first-ever local cocktail competition, using Sipsmith Gin. The pro’s step up to the plate on Tuesday, and the amateurs on Wednesday.
Venue: Tiny Triumphs, 2 Clarence St, Devonport
Details: Free entry, 5pm – late
Wednesday 1 March: Rogue Society Masterclass
Join Rogue Society co-founder Mark Neal and Spirit Ambassador Matt Bradley for an evening of blending, tasting and distilling at Remuera’s The Corner. Learn more about the story behind Rogue Society, its production methods and botanical blends, before tasting the sacred drop yourself. The Kiwi brand will also share the ‘Lovable Rogue’ iteration on the classic Gin & Tonic, accompanied by a delicious canape selection from their chef.
Venue: The Corner, 604 Remuera Road, Remuera
Details: Free entry, 7pm
Thursday 2 March: Sacred Spring Gin & Tonic Masterclass
Step inside The Gin Room and go on an exploration of the senses with owner and head bartender Cameron Attfield and owner of Dancing Sands Distillery Ben Bonoma. Listen to the gin-loving duo as they share their stories, while you enjoy the nibbles on hand.
Venue: The Gin Room, 12 Vulcan Lane, Auckland CBD
Details: Free entry, 7pm
Thursday 2 March: Lunching with Sipsmith
Head along to inner city hotspot Oaken for the ultimate gastronomical experience – an impeccable lunch special – your choice of two entrees matched with a Sipsmith Gin cocktail for only $20.
Venue: Oaken, 130 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
Details: Entry TBC, 12pm
Friday 3 March: Potions, Portions and Palate – G&T Masterclass
Discover the secret to a perfect Gin & Tonic by joining East Imperial Brand Ambassador Timothy Martin for an afternoon of hands on workshopping while you learn how to craft the perfect G&T recipe using Rutte Gin.
Venue: Mea Culpa, 3/175 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Details: Free entry, 2pm
Friday 3 March: Sipsmith Gin and Martini Evening
Celebrate the delightful flavour of Sipsmith Gin with the team at Pineapple in Parnell. Make sure you try bartender Elliot’s mouth-watering sorbet gin and East Imperial tonic while you’re there!
Venue: Pineapple, 207 Parnell Road, Parnell
Details: Free entry, 5pm til late
Sunday 26 February – Saturday 4 March: Juniper Room at Jefferson Bar
The pop-up Juniper Room is a feast for the eyes, and the senses, housed in the front room of The Jefferson whiskey bar in Auckland’s CBD. Impeccably decorated with fresh peonies, lilies, scented candles, lush greenery and fluffy white cushions just waiting to be lounged on, this is one seriously beautiful setting for some gin tasting. Priding itself in limited edition, rare gin, ensure you sample the exclusive Beefeater Crown Jewel, and other gins never seen on NZ shores before.
Venue: The Jefferson, 7 Fort Lane, Auckland
Details: Free entry, 6pm
Saturday 4 March: Gin Jubilee Closing Party
To end the East Imperial Gin Jubilee on a high note, comes the epic closing party hosted at Ponsonby’s Gypsy Caravan. Gin & Tonic specials will be available all night for only $10, as well as a variety of different craft and premium gins available to try. Head along for an evening of tasty G&T’s, delicious food, and sultry tunes.
Venue: Gypsy Caravan, 130 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Details: Free entry, 7pm – 12am
Check back next week for more on the East Imperial Gin Jubilee, including the lucky winner of the prestigious ‘Best Gin & Tonic’ competition.
Head here for more.