Ginvent – The Original Gin Advent Calendar
Ginvent began one cold, dark winter night when we realised that no one made a gin-filled Advent calendar. To resolve the deplorable absence of our precious juniper spirit during the season of festivities, we designed, crafted and installed a 2 x 2 metre calendar in a central London bar and each day opened a new door. We celebrated the gin inside by serving up G&Ts and cocktails, as well as hosting tastings and generally sharing the gin love.
The calendar was an instant hit and we were flooded with requests to miniaturise it in order to spread the festive cheer by making it available for all to enjoy in their homes. Not everyone can get to London, apparently, and this was an idea that needed to be democratised. The rest, as they say, is history and five years on the Ginvent Calendars have gone global…
Ginvent calendars are representative of Gin Foundry’s core mission: to celebrate Gin and help drinkers find their perfect tipple. Ginvent is a central pillar on which we further this aim, and to accomplish this we dedicate months of each year to discussing the exact right gins and plotting ways to bring the calendars to life.
So what’s inside? Each year, we select 24 Gins that provide a snapshot of the category’s depth, diversity and global reach. We scour countries in search of the very best, the most unusual, the most progressive and – of utmost importance – the most sublimely delicious gins. The content of the Ginvent calendars is carefully curated and painstakingly considered so that all styles of gins are included, from London Dry to Old Tom, to Navy strength, Fruit infused and so on…
We also make an effort to showcase all types of producers, celebrating the artisanal, craft makers while providing a unique chance to compare them in context to some of the familiar, larger names. It’s a chance to really discover the very best the category has to offer and will challenge your preconceptions as it titillates your tastebuds.
We take great pride in presenting a new line up each year so for those of you who have already enjoyed a Ginvent calendar, 2017 promises a different selection once again. As always, there will be calendar exclusives and new gin launches making their debut behind certain doors, as well as a return of some older gins that are starting to make their way back into the limelight.
Ginvent is designed to be a shared experience, so each day we run live tastings via our social media platforms, host tastings across the UK and publish articles, interviews and features on the gins included. This year, there will be a Pop-up in Soho on the 1st & 2nd December as well as numerous tastings throughout the month at our HQ in Fulham.
We hope that by doing this, anyone who wants to peel back the layers and discover a little about the people involved and the spirits they make – can find a perfect platform to learn more. Moreover, we will publish a schedule with tasting notes and G&T suggested serves for each gin in the programme below, so all the information needed is gathered in one place.
What is a Ginvent Calendar?
The Original gin fuelled Advent Calendar, filled with 24 mini drams of different brands of Gins, selected from all over the world
Where is Ginvent Available from?
You can get hold of Ginvent calendars via Amazon, Gin Kiosk, Master of Malt, Not on the High Street and at the Ginvent pop-up!
What do others say about it?
"Is it too early to be getting excited about the countdown to Christmas? Not when it includes a gin advent calendar..." METRO
A walk through a winter wonderland, with Christmas trees & soft citrus welcoming the season in.
You can expect a soft, sweet lead in on the tongue, with elderberry, red fruit and chocolate filling the mouth before a lemony, crispy Christmas tree jumps into the palate. These are pushed away by the spices, with cassia lighting a small fire and star anise adding a cooling, mulled pinch to proceedings.
We love a rosemary sprig to garnish in a G&T, as well as a handful of blueberries. Those looking to up the spruce can always take some sheers to their Christmas tree. What’s a bit of tinsel between friends? An orange wedge and blackberries also work particularly well to bring out the softer elements but for those of you who like to dance with spice – look no further than a few leaves of fresh Bay Laurel.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with blueberries and rosemary
Wild meadows & fruity juniper strike against a herbal backdrop, before warm and waxy orange stirs the mix.
The sip takes an interesting journey – it first appears cooling, but the warmth and herbal depth from the nettles quickly works to heat up the tongue, bringing a fire that starts off slowly but increases in ferocity the longer its left in the mouth. There’s a juniper presence throughout, but the sweet earthiness of angelica and the orangey citrus linger long after the drink is finished. It’s very smooth at 43% and impressively sippable, even at room temperature.
Stirling Gin is a gentle spirit that strikes a fine balance between sweet and savoury and as such would work when playing with both elements. On the bottle, it’s suggested that a few torn basil leaves would perk up the serve and we can’t help but agree. It would also work well with an orange wheel in a G&T, or alternatively, accentuate the herbal tones with more basil!
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with basil and orange peel.
58 Gin Navy Strength
A cockney accent and a Naval attitude give this exquisitely juniper-led gin something of a swagger.
As well as the high proof hit - Grapefruit oil and cubeb really jump out at Navy-Strength, though the core of woody juniper and leafy herbs of the original gin remain intact.
To taste the palate is full on, so hold it on the palate a little to allow the flavour to develop (and the spirit subside). The journey opens with fresh bergamot and lemon quickly transitioning into juniper and cubeb, which lingers long on the finish.
Keep it simple with this gin in a G&T, try it with a lemon peel or alternatively, no garnish but using Aromatic Tonic.
Serve suggestion: Mediterranean tonic with a lemon twist.
Tarquin's Brilliant British Blackberry Gin
Blackberry sorbet, with a cheeky touch of sherbet lemon sweets and a dash of Cornish honey.
The initial sniff, we must admit, enticed an excited expletive or two out of our filthy mouths. Brilliant British Blackberry Gin is just so inviting, with an initial syrupy hit of gloopy red gummy sweets giving way to a bright floral honey and, eventually, the brutish spices of the flagship recipe. It all blends into a hurricane blur, as if a sweetshop and a spice merchant had melted into one strange, delicious mix.
The taste has all of this, but at a faster (and slightly more aggressive pace). The honey bids you a warm hello and the rich, red fruit blinks in and out of existence as the loud, bright coriander from the flagship warms up the mouth. It doesn’t feel like a 38% ABV gin, but it’s not quite soft enough to trick you into calling it a liqueur… it sits somewhere between: thick, spiced and quite alive.
Serve suggestion: Enjoy this one neat, or use it with some bubbly!
Lone Wolf Gin
A beast's on the loose, with a bright citrus burst giving way to deep green pine trees and forest fresh juniper.
First impressions are of a strong grapefruit peel aroma mixed with pine, but hold it under your nose for a while and there’s also an underlying complexity. It’s not a specific undertone, more like a set of eyes fixing you from the horizon, too far to discern, too close to ignore.
To taste, there’s a massive flush of fresh citrus peel upfront, primarily grapefruit but given some additional bulk by the lemon too. The flavours transition fast and the chase is on, driving you straight into the heart of the gin. Before you know it, juniper has stalked you down, commanding all the attention with its resinous, oily stature. It’s quickly followed by Scottish Pine needles, which go in for the killer blow and leave behind a forest like finish that refuses to dissipate.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with pink grapefruit peel.
6 O'Clock Gin
Calm elderflower gives way to excitable lemon peels, while coriander seed ignites as the clock strikes.
We let out an embarrassing “ooh” upon first sniff of this gin. In the bottle, a classic juniper aroma wafts to the top, but in the glass clean, green elderflower leaps forward, supported by a delightfully sweet and juicy orange.
This is a classic gin lover’s gin, for sure. There’s a loud coriander here, which emerges almost instantly, usurping the elderflower’s attempts at sweetness and carrying a warm citrus note right through to the finish. Juniper is present throughout, but never in a dominating capacity, rather it supports the entire flavour journey, leaving the mouth oscillating wildly between pine and citrus long after the sip is supped.
The flavour holds up well in tonic, with the elderflower a little more prominent and the juniper louder, staining the mouth with resinous pine. The coriander seed’s heat is muted and instead the citrus comes from a bright, fresh orange.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with a twist of lemon.
Rhubarb & Custard sweets lead the way, before a verdant juniper slings it way into the fold.
Slingsby Rhubarb Gin smells entirely of the Rhubarb and Custard sweets of yesteryear. The herbal qualities of the flagship hint at the nose, but boiled sweets dominate the senses.
The sweetness of Slingsby is amplified and – though delicious – there is a slight hint of the more artificial, perfumed elements on the nose, as opposed to the caramelised notes when cooked or fresh notes when harvested. This is either a result of flavourings or true testament to the flavour extraction team at ICB, as the rhubarb edition of Slingsby Gin smells rich and botanically sweet enough to be a dessert in itself.
It’d be lovely in a G&T with a handful of red berries, but even though this is not a liqueur and there is no added sugar, those with a sweet tooth should just sip this neat over ice.
Serve suggestion: elderflower tonic with raspberries.
Sacred Cardamom Gin
The product of a mad scientist, this is an aromatic adventure through the cardamom fields of Guatemala.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with red grapefruit.
Loud, fresh orange flickers from the bottle, while hazelnut and juniper combine to bring piney depth.
Serve suggestion: Aromatic tonic with orange zest.
Bishops Marmalade Gin
Cold pines and war meadows wear a sticky marmalade robe in this worship-worthy edition.
Serve suggestion: Mediterranean tonic with lemon zest and basil.
Herbal and Hebridean, this is a silky smooth, juniper-driven gin that is perfect in classic cocktails.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with green chilli.
Poetic License Old Tom Gin
Huge liquorice sweetness and cubeb spice poetically combine in this cheek filling, luxurious gin.
Serve suggestion: Ginger ale with red apple and cinnamon.
Elephant Navy Strength
Spiced, earthy and herbal, this is an intense and powerful gin that trumpets its presence in any mix.
Seve suggestion: Aromatic tonic.
Light, accessible and easy, with a blast of citrus, fresh juniper and warm cassia. Smooth as Ice(land).
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with strawberry and black pepper.
Hayman's London Dry Gin
Look up London Dry Gin in the dictionary and you'll find something a lot like this fantastic family product.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with a twist of lemon.
Floral, tangy kaffir leaf citrus is bright as a canary, yet delicately poised in this soothing gin.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with kaffir lime leaves.
McQueen Dry Gin
Creamy vanilla and black pepper tumble a sweet-spice somersault in this fit-for-royalty Scottish gin.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with lime and grapefruit zest.
Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin
Fizzy cola sweets rush the tongue, but keep your w(h)its about you - this is stronger than it tastes!
Serve suggestion: Mediterranean tonic with a wheel of orange.
Spruce tips dominate, conjuring images of snow flecked Christmas trees and rosy cheeked walks.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with a slice of apple.
Masons Lavender Gin
Striking and fragrant, with a dry, spiced base that builds behind a sweet lavender meadow.
Serve suggestion: Mediterranean tonic with lime zest.
Sugary elderflower and garden fresh dandelions dominate, but gin's folk hero, juniper, has a chance to shine.
Serve suggestion: Elderflower tonic with a thin slice of grapefruit.
Persie Sweet & Nutty Old Tom Gin
This sweet and nutty Scottish gin has a milky, vanilla feel and a fiery ginger kick. One for nosing...
Serve suggestion: Ginger ale with root ginger.
Bathtub Old Tom Gin
Cold compounded gin with a luxurious mouthfeel, a cheek-filling candied citrus and lingering, waxy juniper.
Serve suggestion: Indian tonic with an orange wedge.
Fresh & green, with big juniper and a dry spice finish, this gin's global recipe celebrates the world as one.
Serve suggestion: Mediterranean tonic with slices of fresh apple and sage.
Copyright © Gin Foundry