Batch Gin; Wedding Ginspiration (festive edition)

lila bailey gin blog batch gin

BATCH GIN; WEDDING GINSPIRATION (FESTIVE EDITION)

 

It’s time for gin! Last month, as it was December, we got our hands on the Christmas edition of Batch Gin and it was fabulous. It’s packed with festive flavour and definitely leaves you wanting more!

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

THE GIN

Batch gin is a premium gin made in Lancashire by Batch Brew Limited. It’s distilled using 12 botanicals including juniper, coriander and lemongrass, with the most unusual however, being frankincense and myrrh. A bold, unique gin with flavours to match.

How to drink it…

Perfect Serve – Batch G&T
• 50ml of Batch Premium Gin
• Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic
• Frozen raspberries
• Lime peel
• Ice

Fill a Copa glass with ice, swirl to cool the glass and drain excess water. Add gin, top up with tonic and garnish with crumbled frozen raspberries and lime peel.

 

TASTING NOTES

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

As we were trying a festive edition of batch gin, naturally we had to add some festive touches…

Not only did Euan try the gin straight, but I did too (round of applause, please). Unfortunately, I was slightly too busy complaining about my burning oesophagus to give any constructive feedback, but Euan had lots to say to make up for it. He loved the initial hit of juniper and cardamon and was adamant he could taste cinnamon in the aftertaste. He felt the gin had a ‘licorice-ness’ (the technical term) and enjoyed the blend of spices. You’ll also be pleased to hear that, although not listed on the bottle, the gin does contain cinnamon bark, so Euan’s senses didn’t fail him after all!

batch gin lila bailey gin blog

We then made the G&Ts (with fever tree, as recommended) and, as usual, did one with lemon and one with lime. There was a significant difference between the gin with lemon and the gin with lime. The lemon did not compliment the gin at all and somehow took a lot of the flavour away. However the lime really enhanced the flavours and made it a very enjoyable drink indeed!

We loved this gin. It is very unique, and packed with lots of different flavours. You experience an initial hit of the ‘classic’ gin taste, followed by the blend of spices which give it an edge. This has probably taken the number 1 spot on our favourite craft gin club gins so far… We even started setting the scene for a gorgeous intimate winter wedding with an open fire and a couple of bottles of batch (Christmas edition) gin being served. Euan (as always) came up with creative ways to garnish the gin, such as sprigs of holly with frozen cranberries.

 

THE BRANDING

lila bailey gin blog batch gin

The branding of this Christmas edition is super. I think the gold design is beautiful and instantly christmassy, plus the mention of Frankincense and Myrrh make this the most festive gin, like, ever! Drink a couple of bottles and pop a candle in the top and voilà, you have yourself some Christmas table centrepieces!

In case you missed it, below is the video of us trying the gin (enjoy!). And for more ginspiration checkout my post about Fifty Eight Gin.

Festive Decorating at Lila Bailey HQ

festive decorating christmas wreath lila bailey blog post

FESTIVE DECORATING AT LILA BAILEY HQ

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… (It really really is!). I absolutely love Christmas (just in case you hadn’t noticed). Not just Christmas Day either, I love the whole build up from late November right through to celebrating New Year and all the festivities in between. One of the first things I do to feel christmassy is stick a rocking Christmas playlist on and decorate! Last year was our very first Christmas in our own home which made it was super super special, but this year is even better because we’ve finally got our flat pretty much how we want it (more to come on that later…), so it feels even more like home.

festive decorating lila bailey blog post

Festive decorating is an all-day event, starting with purchasing & decorating the Christmas tree (video below), followed by decorating the rest of the house! Because of our living room & kitchen colour schemes, I stick with a simple ‘red & white’ theme for the tree as it ties the whole room together as one.

festive decorating lila bailey blog post

I don’t like to go OTT with Christmas decor as there is a fine line between beautifully festive and superbly tacky… I stick with a few go-to additions, including (a lot of) festive bunting, christmas blankets (as sofa accessories, naturally), jars of candy canes, handmade decorative stockings, ornamental hanging things (the technical term…), and lots (and lots) of candles. There is always a place for a small amount of tinsel (on the television, for example) but I don’t like too much as I do think it can really cheapen the look of a room.

festive decorating lila bailey blog post

As I work from home, making sure my house is festively decorated is an essential part of my ability to focus during this period… (It is, honest!).

 

The Finishing Touch

To me, it’s just not Christmas without a wreath on the front door! Luckily, one of my very good friends happens to be a florist (handy) and runs Christmas wreath making workshops throughout early December. This year her & I had a one-to-one wreath making (and coffee drinking, gossiping) session and this was the result!

festive decorating christmas wreath lila bailey blog post

It brightens up the hallway and brings a bit of festive cheer as soon as you walk through the door!

 

Links

Below is our Christmas tree expedition in video form, and also a link to Kat’s (florist friend) beautiful website…

 

Milli Fleur

Previous Blog Post

 

Fifty Eight gin; wedding ginspiration from the heart of the East End

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

FIFTY EIGHT GIN; WEDDING GINSPIRATION

 

Let’s be-gin (classic pun)… I love when it’s time to try another gin (I mean, who doesn’t?!), especially when it’s one as nice as fifty eight! It’s amazing how much gin can vary from one to another, and the rise of creative gin making is most definitely on the up.

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

THE GIN

Fifty eight, or 58, is single shot distilled in Hackney, London. * Single shot distillation; the head and tail parts are cut off leaving more of the heart. This removes any initial sharpness or unpleasant aftertaste and is replaced with a crisp taste and a soft finish. *

There are 9 botanicals used in 58 gin;

  • Juniper
  • Coriander seed
  • Orris root
  • Angelica
  • Cubeb pepper
  • Sicilian lemon
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Bergamot
  • Bourbon vanilla

58 Gin is produced in a traditional manner using beautiful alembic copper stills. The 58 experts claim it has a distinctive smooth and clean taste, but let’s see what we thought…

 

TASTING NOTES

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

As usual, Euan tried the gin neat first of all (I’m still unwilling) and experienced a soft, clean, and crisp taste (as the experts said!), with a hint of citrus.

He then made the gin & tonics, using fever tree tonic and garnishing one glass with lemon (yuck!) and one glass with lime (yum!). In the craft gin club magazine, which comes with each monthly gin, they suggested using a grapefruit and rosemary tonic with this particular gin. Euan disagrees with this (has to be different), and thinks this particular gin doesn’t need flavoured tonic, but I’m always up for trying something new (and proving Euan wrong…)!

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

I really enjoyed this gin. It was pleasant, smooth, and very drinkable. Out of all the gins I have tried so far through the craft gin club, it is probably coming out top (but very closely followed by the Kyro Napue gin). Interestingly, one of the first things I said was it reminded me of Plymouth gin, which is also a single shot distilled gin (I am officially an expert, just saying).

Euan said much the same; very pleasant, smooth, and enjoyable. We both tend to go for gins with a bit more of a ‘kick’, however sometimes something smooth and easy drinking is all you need.

We both agreed that there is an initial citrus taste to this gin, followed by after-tones that we couldn’t quite put our fingers on, but suspect it could be the vanilla.

Euan also said that this gin was (obviously) stronger neat, but the actual flavour was much the same. What he found with a couple of the previous gins were that they were very different neat than with tonic, hence being more in favour of flavoured tonics for those gins rather than this particular one.

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

We tried the gin with the lemon and the lime and both concluded there wasn’t a lot of difference between the two. Euan said this was positive as a garnish isn’t designed to flavour a gin. I very rarely enjoy gin & tonics with lemon, and will always have lime (unless an alternative garnish is suggested), but with this gin I found the lemon to be equally as tasty as the lime (honestly, it’s a miracle!). I would most definitely choose this gin in a restaurant, and even to have in the house (Christmas present ideas…).

 

BRANDING

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

We loved the shape of the bottle, the blue wax seal, and the lettering, however we weren’t so keen on the image in the middle. I assumed it had some relevance (I love to assume), but I couldn’t find much about the branding online. I don’t think the bottle/label stands out quite like some of the previous gins have done, but I do think it’s in-keeping with the smooth and almost calm feel to the gin.

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

WEDDING COCKTAILS

Euan was very much adamant that he would make a simple Gin Martini with an olive to garnish. He thought the gin had a great flavour and doesn’t think there’s any need to cover it up with complicated cocktail ingredients (but colourful cocktails are fun!).

Euan’s Gin Martini

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

  • 50ml of fifty eight gin
  • 15ml of dry vermouth
  • One olive to garnish

Pour the gin and vermouth into a shaker with lots of ice and stir (much to the dismay of James Bond). Strain into a martini glass and garnish.

 

The craft gin club magazine created a cocktail called the ‘Marmont Fizz’ which I very much like the sound of!

Marmont Fizz

fifty eight ginspiration lila bailey gin blog

  • 6 mint leaves, plus one to garnish
  • 20ml of lemon juice
  • 15ml of elderflower cordial
  • 35ml of fifty eight gin
  • 15ml of apple juice
  • Champagne, chilled, to top

Add all the ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake and strain. Top with champagne and a mint leaf to garnish.

 

VLOG TIME!

If reading is too much of a hassle, why not watch us try the gin instead?!

 

 

Wedding Fayres; the good, the bad, the ugly #1

wedding fayres blog post lila bailey exeter racecourse stand ready

Wedding Fayres; the good, the bad; the ugly #1

 

I recently embarked on my very first experience of exhibiting at a wedding fayre with my own little company. I’ve visited wedding fayres in the past as a “bride” (pretend bride as I’m not actually engaged), and I’ve also exhibited at trade fairs with my parents’ company, but this was Lila Bailey’s debut.

I was terrified.

Because wedding planning isn’t a physical product, I was essentially selling myself (get your mind out of the gutter…), and this is something that – especially for me – takes a whole lot of courage. Although I have a huge amount of confidence in my ability and I know that I can do it, when it comes to telling people I can do it I seize up and just wish someone else could tell them for me. I hate talking about myself and my achievements, and I especially hate ‘bigging’ myself up. Whenever I see or hear anyone bragging about themselves I find it super cringey, awkward, and embarrassing (for them more than me) so when people said to me ‘you’ve just got to let people know how great you are’ I felt like holding up a big fat ‘NO’ sign. But, as I discovered, there’s a way to do it that isn’t cringey, awkward, or embarrassing. The trick is to be open, honest, and – most importantly – yourself.

wedding fayres blog lila bailey

 

Wedding fayre #1; Exeter Racecourse

wedding fayres blog post exeter racecourse banner lila bailey

 

I originally booked the Bailbrook House wedding fayre in Bath first, and then came across the Exeter Racecourse fayre which happened to be the weekend before. Because the Bath wedding fayre was the bigger one, and would therefore be a bigger deal for me, I thought it would be good to experience one beforehand to ‘break the ice’ so to speak. And I am so glad I did! I was insanely nervous and really wasn’t sure exactly what to do/how to talk to people, so Euan and I decided this would be the ‘tester’ fayre to see what needs improving ahead of the next one.

The two main things I discovered were…

  1. Despite thinking having your stand right by the entrance is a good idea, it’s not.
  2. Always have something in your hand to give to people. It’s a conversation starter and something for them to take away to remind them of your company.

 

wedding fayres blog post lila bailey exeter racecourse stand ready

At the Exeter fayre, we arrived super early (much earlier than we needed to) and I chose a table which was pretty much the first table you saw when you walked in. I thought this would be great because people would come straight over, but what I didn’t realise was that most attendees were pretty nervous themselves and didn’t actually know what to do or where to go, so just walked around and didn’t talk to at least the first two stands. They would eventually come back round again and speak to me then, but by that time they were getting a little bored and tired, and (particularly the grooms) probably just wanted to go home!

I had got some postcard size cards printed to hand out to people, but a couple of weeks before the fayre the organisers emailed to say we could put leaflets in the attendees goody-bags, so I decided to allocate the postcards to them instead. Although putting the postcards in the bags meant that every attendee went home with one, it did mean that I had nothing to offer them when they came to speak to me, and I figured that brides and grooms were having so many conversations with so many different people, if you didn’t actually physically give them any material then they may not remember the conversation they had with me once they were home.

However, as we had discussed, this was just my ‘tester’ wedding fayre and it was the perfect opportunity for me to make a couple of changes for the next one. It was also my introduction into the world of vlogging! Which is super exciting. Here is the Exeter wedding fayre vlog… enjoy!

 

Keep your eyes peeled for the second blog post about the Bath wedding fayre… and don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel (many more vlogs to come!).