If you've read my blog for the last year you'll have spotted how much I love Nomad. And if you're following any of my social media accounts, you'll have spotted me hanging about at new gin bar 40 St Pauls.
So when a collaboration between the two was announced as part of Nomad's #Ginsessions, obviously I was right there. Gin Sessions was a variety of events organised by Nomad, all with a gin theme, duh. The 40 St Pauls event paired gin with cheese, coffee and chocolate- not necessarily what you'd usually connect with gin.
This being a Nomad event, I knew I'd be challenged but would also find a new favourite thing.
We were greeted with a plate of Nomad snacks. The spoon at the back contained the stem, leaf and flower of a plant called Alexanders, topped with grated blue cheese. I tried these last time I was at Nomad and found them a little tough and hard to chew. This time, they were much more palatable.
In front of that you can see razor clams with douglas fir, gorse and radish. And my personal favourite was the venison terrine with almonds, black mustard and damsons giving a bit of sweetness.
For once though, the focus wasn't really on food- it was on the drink. We paid £3 each to get a little seasonal G&T to kick things off. Local gin Langleys, house tonic and acorn syrup really reminded me of something but I cannot think what. It was almost sweet but not quite.
Our first food and gin pairing of the evening featured an English goats cheese from Shropshire. This was a firm, clean-tasting goats cheese which wasn't too strong- good for people who aren't really into goats cheese!
This was served with a Manzanilla Martini which is made in a most exciting fashion.
Sherry, bitters and gin are strained several times. As much as I'd like to try this at home, I'm pretty sure it would end up all over my kitchen floor.
Sherry and gin work really well together though! I loved this cocktail and it also acted as a palate-cleanser so each bite of cheese tasted like the first bite.
Next- coffee and gin! What!?
The cold brew coffee had been provided by Quarter Horse Coffee who are my local coffee shop and one of my favourite places to hang out. They also roast their own coffee beans. So we had some cold brew coffee to try and then went on to the cocktail part.
The gin element was in the form of a cold brew G&T. The super cold brew coffee was added to tonic water and then a shot of Butler's Gin. Butler's Gin is a fragrant, almost spicy gin with strong cardamom notes, which worked well with the coffee.
This sounds like it shouldn't work and it is an acquired taste. It reminded me of iced tea (which I do enjoy with gin). Edd and I agreed that it is a perfect refreshing summer drink. A super discovery!
Finally, onto the sweet stuff. I was excited about the gin/chocolate pairing because the chocolate was provided by Kneals who are local and amazing. The chocolate they provided was a Lemon Chocolate Marble which was smooth and creamy with a light lemon taste, not overly acidic or too insipid.
This was accompanied by 40 St Paul's take on a 20th Century Cocktail- the 21st Century Cocktail! As it contained creme de cacao and lemon juice it was the perfect match to the chocolate. It was light and clean though, not creamy and heavy like you would expect from a dessert cocktail.
With one of Kneals Salted Caramel truffles to finish, we decided to have an additional cocktail. A flip contains a full egg- I love an eggy cocktail! This was made with gin and more of the acorn syrup.
This was a super event, I tried some interesting pairings and some new cocktails- gin and sherry! Cold brew coffee and gin! Gin! Gin! Everything was introduced and explained well. It was also a bit of a bargain at £23.
Nomad and 40 St Pauls are both fantastic and you should visit both. Nomad is exciting and unique food, 40 St Pauls is perfect gin cocktails.
40 St Pauls
Photos by Edd.
Tickets and drinks paid for myself. This was a one off event which I brought tickets for.