What do you do in your free time? Everyone has a hobby, what’s yours?…What’s mine?
Hmmmm…talk to me about teaching and I am truly passionate, talk to me about Ancient Greek sculpture and you will lose hours, but I wouldn’t say either are hobbies. People run, go to the gym, do yoga, football or Zumba…not going to lie, I’m really not a fan of exercise. People knit, paint, draw, do mindful colouring…I’m a fan of some of the above, but none of them hold my attention for long. Reading, now there’s something, I love to read, but not during term time…I get too involved in a book, refuse to put it down, just one more chapter…oh but this one is great too…one more…and before I know it, it’s 2:30am and my alarm goes off at 6. Not really conducive to a productive day with 30 children!
Then there’s gin, in it’s ever changing forms. Dry, sweet, citrus, spicy, so many flavours and so many styles. Gin is most definitely my hobby and it is certainly one which has managed to maintain my attention.
I am also something of a hoarder, although I’m not entirely sure hoarding counts as a hobby, however, as gin bottles are so beautiful, I really don’t like to throw them out, so collecting gin bottles has become something of a hobby too. They document my gin journey and keep a “ginventory” of all the gins I’ve owned. In all honesty, we’re running out of space! So what do I do? Where do I go with this, should I not buy any more gin? Well that’s a stupid idea! Do I throw my collection out, or hide those poor empty gin bottles away? Goodness no, I’m far too proud…even though they do give guests the impression that I am something of an alcoholic!
Then it hit me…
…gin miniatures. The bottles are still beautiful, but take up little space and contain a double measure, which is enough for both Hubby and me to have a gin. Miniatures are also really handy from a tasting or sampling point of view. Although more common gins can be picked up in the supermarket for between £18 and £30, others can cost considerably more. And what if that beautiful bottle you have been pining over arrives at your house and then, heaven forbid, it’s not suited to your palette? Miniatures offer the perfect tasting/sampling opportunity, with the majority contain a double measure.
I have already been able to build up quite a little collection, but where exactly do you get them from?
Asda were recently selling a ‘Gin House’ gift set, which contained four small bottles of fever tree mixer along side four giniatures, for just £12, which is an incredible price! I also found a similar ‘Fever Tree Ultimate Gin & Tonic Tasting Selection’ online for just £13. Considering the price, it’s hardly surprising to find it is out of stock in most places…except Sainsbury’s online, get over there quick before I buy them all, the link above should take you straight there! For a little more money, £19.95, Hendrick’s are currently selling a gorgeous gift set ‘Hendricks Cucumber Hothouse’ which contains two miniature bottles of Hendrick’s, a melon/cucumber baller, a packet of cucumber seeds and a plant pot so you can grow your own garnish. Drinks in Tube also offer fantastic taster sets, and although the samples don’t come in the distilleries own brand bottles, they do come in beautiful glass tubes, embossed with the brand logo (to find out more about Drinks in Tube, check out my previous blog post). These are just a few products containing miniatures which are currently available, but as the Christmas season creeps ever closer, there will be loads more available.
But what if you don’t want to buy a gift set? What if you just want one or two miniatures? As a member of Craft Gin Club, I have been lucky enough to be sent many giniatures as part of my monthly subscription. You can pick up more common gin miniatures in local corner shops, the one at the end of our road stocks Gordon’s, but that’s it. When Hubby and I were in Madrid we walked past an amazing little shop whose window was full of miniatures, so I took the opportunity to pick up a few. Similarly, a friend was on holiday in Orkney and posted a picture of shelves FULL of miniatures. I immediately asked her to pick me up several gin ones. So I think in some instances it is just a case of keeping your eyes open when you’re out and about. Plus, most larger off licences will stock a few varieties.
What if it is a specific gin that you’re looking for? Well, I’m currently making a gin clock, then in my house it really will always be gin o’clock. For this I have been desperate to get a 6 o’clock gin miniature. I contacted the distillery who explained they were available to buy in their own shop and in many shops around Bristol…THEN went on to say that they supply a full range to www.justminiatures.co.uk what is this place of which they speak?
A quick click later and I was thrown into miniature heaven. They have a huge selection of miniatures for all spirits, available as single bottles and also in boxes of six or 12. I was genuinely blown away by the variety and although they don’t stock everything, there is certainly something for everyone.
Theoretically this website should help with our current lack of shelf space, unfortunately I fear it has merely fuelled my obsession as I now quite obviously need to own ALL of the miniature bottles as well as the full size ones! As it would seem our house is about to be inundated with miniatures, this weekend Hubby and I decided to have a date day, with food, films, board games and giniatures, the perfect way for us to enjoy lots of different gins in one go!