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Only a few more sleeps!

Merchant heart
30/05/2019
Written by Gin Foundry

The countdown is almost over, the agony of waiting is coming to an end and the best day of the year (sorry Christmas, you’re a close second) has almost arrived. Junipalooza London 2019 is mere hours away. We’ve covered many different facets of the show in the past few weeks on our news feed, but we thought we’d put together a little one-stop guide with all the right links for those wanting to do some research ahead of arriving…

If nothing else from this article, take away the fact that there will be a new entrance, through the ships at Tobacco Dock, so walk on around to wapping lane. You won’t miss it – they are MASSIVE SHIPS and we will have a gorgeous Caorunn Gin themed entrance, but it’s easier knowing that’s what to look for than touring the entire venue searching for an entry.


It might be boring to read all the messages surrounding responsible drinking, but park your inner lad on tour at the door for a moment and listen to us when we tell you that you’ll have so much more fun if you arrive full-bellied and hydrated. Honestly – begin the day (even if you’re coming to the morning session) with a hearty meal and a gallon of water and step on in to the magic show.

This is our sixth year in the Junipalooza London game, so head our warnings –  we’re talking as drinks industry veterans and as fellow drink show attendees – drink water, eat food and pace yourselves. This isn’t an endurance test, nor an all you can drink event – it’s a chance to get really in depth with the makers of some truly amazing spirits. Take your time with the gins, and if you really do feel a need to try more than is reasonable to drink, instead of finishing it all take advantage of the spitoons. They’re everywhere! This is a journey of flavour discovery – you’ll need your wits.

As always, the stellar team from Hildon Mineral Water will be at the show to keep you hydrated. We’ll be handing over mini bottles as you arrive, and there will be two stands inside for a free top up, too. One bottle per head, but unlimited refills!

As with previous years, there will be various street food options available, too. This year we have a trio of offerings, with each serving a vegetarian option.

Point & Flat serving up Pulled Pork Buns topped with Slaw // Succulent Duck with Hoi Sin Sauce // Halloumi and Red Pepper Served in Mini Brioche Buns (V)

Mexican Burrito serving up Slow Cooked Beef and Mexican Rice Burrito // Baked Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean, Chickpea, Apricot and Pistachio Tagine (V)

M’goun serving up Black Jack Pulled Chilli Lamb, Mint Cabbage Salad, Tabbouleh, River Mint Yoghurt and Crispy Onions // Home Baked Harissa Beans, Mint Cabbage Salad, Tabbouleh, River Mint Yoghurt and Crispy Onions
 (V)

There’s a lot going on and a lot to enjoy at Junipalooza, so it’s a lot easier when you plan who you want to visit ahead of time. To chart out your path before you get there, we’ve made these two handy PDF’s for you…

The first is the DIGITAL SHOW GUIDE. The newspaper edition will be given to you at the show, but if you want to swot up ahead of arriving, it’s got information and advice about each exhibitor…

The second is a printable MUST SEE LIST and mini-map, so plot your course and circle the distillers you most want to see (there will be maps in the guide too – this is just a tool for forward planning). We recommend picking your top five, seven at the most and making them your first port of call. After that, you  can just see where the rest of the session takes you! That way you’ve spoken to your unmissable makers, tasted their gins and got a sense of who else was there that tickled your fancy.

Other than the spectacular array of exhibitors, there will also be Masterclasses! Back after a one year hiatus, the free to attend masterclasses will return in 2019, this time lead by the Merchant Heart’s team. Expect panels with distillers and everything you could ever want to know about tonic. There’s more info here: MASTERCLASSES

Last but not least, there will be spaces in the experiential rooms. We’re putting half of the sessions up for pre-booking, but we want people to be able to walk up on the day and step into any experience that catches the eye.  We’ve written a little more about each HERE, and they are also outlined in the show guide.

Be warned, these remaining places will all vanish fast as they are always super popular, with amazing distillery teams going all out with exciting, immersive experiences – so book as you walk through the door if that sounds like something you want to do.

We’ve been grafting hard for a year to bring you this festival of delights – we think it’ll be our best yet and can’t wait to see you there.

Have a fantastic time folks – HAPPY JUNIPALOOZA!