Sunday, September 23

Dines Out: Brighton Gin Club

- October 10, 2017


Gin, gin, gin… you cannot move for the stuff, it’s the drink of the moment. Not that I’m complaining, I am a gin fan. I like a G&T, a gin martini and best of all a negroni. But with the rise of the artisanal gin industry here and abroad, which gin do you choose? I currently have five on my shelf, two of which I love, two I like a lot and one which I would not use to polish metal with, so unlike gin is it that I can never see the level dropping below the neck. And that is the problem, you go to buy gin and there are simply too many choices.

This is where the Brighton Gin Club comes in. A fairly recent creation run very ably by Jo Miles and Jason Edge, they hold rather clever tasting events at which you can actually taste a wide range of gins at themed events. I was delighted to be invited along to a Dutch Genever and gin evening at the Harbour Hotel. Now as much as I love gin I also love Holland and, over the years, I have tasted a great many Dutch gins and genevers – the root of all things gin.

It was a tutored evening and our presenter was a rather animated young man with a clear passion for gins and for genever. I love genever but I think that most people would be surprised to find that this most traditional of spirits tastes rather more like whisky than the juniper infused gin that most of us are used to today.

This is where the Brighton Gin Club comes in


I love it and for the most part so did everyone else in the room, and by comparing four different genevers from one artisan, small batch distillery we were taken on a very pleasant journey that, despite quite a lot of detail, was also rather fun. Zuidam, the makers, certainly maintain very high standards, from presentation to taste and they make small amounts of their fine spirits so it is unlikely that you will ever find them in the high street supermarkets, but I would urge you try the better independent merchants.

The kitchen at Harbour also did a great job of sending out some appropriate Dutch snacks, great fried fish with a tartare sauce and bitterballen with sharp mustard and my date for the night, the lovely Ms C ter M (yes Dutch), declared the latter to be as good as it gets.

Following the genever we moved on to the kind of gins that we might be more familiar with and amongst them Old Tom, a very traditional format of this drink that was simply delicious.

We tried seven gins, started the evening with a great and generous G&T and in the middle a finely crafted Tom Collins. Now that’s my kind of night out.

To find out more about Brighton Gin Club, forthcoming events and membership go to

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