By Amy Sanderson
Torontonicity was invited to Ginapalooza at Thompson Toronto on April 6, 2016. Upon entering the Thompson Toronto for the kickoff of the Ginapalooza festival, I am ushered to a private room off the lobby, but with equal access to the bar.
This is a two week event sponsored by various gin suppliers such as Aviation, Beefeater, Boodles, The Botanist, Bulldog, Death’s Door, Plymouth, Sipsmith, Toronto Distillery Co. and Victoria.
The fun begins when you pick up your G-passports! Try three of the signature gins featured at 10 Toronto venues.
This year, Ginapalooza will be featured in Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver. To fill in your passport, try three drinks at the ten venues for a total of thirty stamps. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of gin! To help ease the gin overload, you have two weeks from April 6-20, 2016 to go on your gin crawl or enjoy responsibly over two weeks at the 10 different locations. In Toronto, the 10 locations include:
1. Bar Batavia
3. Civil Liberties
6. Parts & Labour
7. Peter Pan Bistro
8. Rush Lane & Co.
9. Thompson Toronto
When you filll your passport, take a photo and email it or Instagram it. You will then be entered to win a prize including the grand prize, which is a trip for two to London, England.
This evening at the Thompson Toronto is special in that it is the launch of the event.
Hors d’oeuvres are a neutral flavour to enjoy the full flavours of the gin which included couscous with light parmesan and another one with citrus. The gnocchi had a little bit more richness, you could taste some cheese coming through which complemented the gin well.
A company called Eat Joe Cake featured a delicious morsel. The cake had a delicious Juniper jam centre. Eat Joe Cake creates wedding cakes and specialized cakes for parties. Joe Ventura likes to find the passion in the event to customize and make the cake something special.
The complimentary gin drink of the evening was The Thompson gin and soda – very fresh and citrusy. I liked the crystal crunch of the sweet Thompson tonic syrup.
This was the only complimentary drink. The other two drinks featured cost $16. So we had to forego those ones.
Two other selections that were offered were:
The Boodles Club Cocktail created by Chris McCrabb included Boodles London Dry Gin, Green Charteruse, St. Germain Ellderflower and fresh lime. Scots Do It Better created by Jeff Puddy included The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, Luxardo Maraschinio, Cointreau, Grapefruit bitters, tea and basil-infused ice.