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Everything you need to know about the Edinburgh Juniper Festival

The 11th of June marks World Gin Day and what better way to celebrate than by heading along to the Edinburgh Juniper Festival.

Published: June 9, 2016
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What is it?

The organisers describe this as Scotland’s Best Gin Festival, and we'd be hard pressed to argue. The Juniper Festival, which is returning for its third consecutive year, celebrates all things Gin, with added street food, local fashion, craft stalls and entertainment.

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When is it?

The festival takes place on the weekend beginning the 10th of June, it runs over four sessions over three days:

• Friday 10th June 5.30pm-10pm

• Saturday 11th June - World Gin Day 12pm-4.30pm and 5.30pm-10pm

• Sunday 12th June 12.30pm-5pm

 

Where is it?

The event will take place at Edinburgh’s Summerhall, the home of Pickering’s Gin (who will be opening their doors all weekend for tours of a working distillery) and many other local businesses.

Summerhall, 1 Summerhall Edinburgh, EH9 1PL

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How do I get there?

Summerhall is located at the east end of the Meadows park, in close proximity to George Square, The Festival Theatre.

By Walking: Just a short walk from The Royal Mile, Waverley Train Station and the Edinburgh Bus Station.

By Bus: Lothian Bus Routes 3, 5, 7, 8, 29, 31, 47, 49 (to/from South Clerk Street) and 42, 67 (to/from our front entrance).

By Bicycle: There are railings internally and externally for bikes to be locked to.

By Car: There is pay and display parking around the vicinity of Summerhall, conveniently around the Meadows. Make sure you decide on a designated driver and don't drink and drive. 

Tickets:  Tickets are priced at £21.50 or £17.50 (concession) and can be purchased from the Summerhall box office in person, or online here.

Highlights

Run by Edinburgh based drinks events & consultancy company Solid Liquids, the Juniper Festival will feature an array of Gin experiences such as talks and tastings, with more performances than ever before.

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There will be over thirty brands taking part, with stalls manned by experts with samples of over sixty varieties of Gin.

Scotland's entries include stalwarts like Pickering's, Arbikie, Crossbill, Daffy's, Darnley's View, Eden Mill, Rock Rose, Strathearn and Edinburgh gin, as well as newcomers like Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd, Shetland Reel Gin, Makar Glasgow Gin, McQueen Gin, Daffy's Porter's and Stirling gin. 

The rest of the UK will also be represented by Brockman's, Hoxton, Burleighs, Martin Miller's and Portobello Road.

While Europe will also be in attendance in the form of Elephant Gin, Valentia and Gabriel Boudier.

This year there will also be five great craft gins from the US including Death's Door and Aviation.

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All of the gins will be complimented by ranges of Tonic waters and other mixers to try before you buy including Fever-Tree, Bon Accord Soft Drinks, Summerhouse Drinks, 1724 Tonic Water and Fentimans Ltd

There will also be some great food vendors including the Inside Out Chef, the excellent Fresh rEVOLution and Rost Eats, as well as coffee from Brew Lab.

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This year, Bombay Sapphire are also taking over a whole lab and running a series of talks where you'll get to learn about the interesting history of the brand and how it was a pioneer of flavours found around the Indian ocean. They will also be treating you to a taste of their new luxury expression the amazing 'Star of Bombay'

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Martin Duffy, director of Solid Liquids said: “We’re looking to keep up the momentum of Gin’s popularity, with so many fantastic products on the market, more than ever people are interested what they are drinking; the process, the ingredients and the craftsmanship involved in creating their favourite spirit”

Advice and a note of caution

Please drink responsibly. The Juniper festival is well staffed and the utmost effort will be made to take care of you while you are there but should you begin to let it all get to your head, take a break and get something to eat or drink some water.

And remember – just one last drink after you think you might have had enough, is never a great idea.

Luckily, the festival runs over three days so you can always come back the next day.

Contact

Follow the festival here:

Facebook

Twitter and the hashtag #bestginfest

FAQs

If I buy a ticket what do I get? 

You get a chance to try a taster of as many different gins on show that you like. There are also various gin talks which are included, as well as the chance to take a tour of a gin distillery.

What if I want a full-sized drink? 

The tasters are free but if you want something bigger then many of the exhibitors will also be selling G and Ts and cocktails.

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Will there be food? 

Of course there will be two street food trailers in the courtyard as well as other sweet treats elsewhere in the building.

Once I try them, will I be able to buy my favourites? 

Drinkmonger will be there, who will be setting up shop for the weekend and they will have all the different gins that will be on show, for sale.

Do I need to bring cash?

The bottle shop will take cards but for buying any crafts, food or drinks you will need cash. Please note there are no cash machines in Summerhall but there are several in the surrounding area.

Can I take pictures?

Yes, you are free to take any pictures you would like, we encourage everyone to get involved on social media using the hashtag #bestginfest.

Are children allowed?

We don’t allow children unfortunately as this is a festival based around alcohol.

What should I wear?

Dress code is casual, no restrictions on trainers or anything - hopefully we will get some sun and get our shorts and flip flops on!

Are pets allowed? 

Summerhall is a dog friendly venue and as long as the dogs are comfortable in busy environments we have no issue with them coming along.

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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