Wanderers soaking up the sun alongside our new found gin-loving generation enjoyed a two-day festival set in the Fairy-tale surroundings of Sefton Park’s Palm House over the bank holiday weekend. Spirit of Liverpool, the festival of ‘spirits, food, live music and entertainment’ has something for everyone. Crowds of all ages gathered for a first-hand introduction to fresh, creative twists on some of our favourite beverages with distillers and food trucks across 25 stalls selling a range of products from spiced-gin prosecco, to chilli rum and even potato vodka! Co-organisers Steven Mealor and Mike Ferguson from N.Castle Spirits planned the festival over the past few months and despite a disheartening turn out due to other given temptations of the scorching weather, will continue the festival next year.
On its second day running many of the attractions were relocated outside into the sunshine to continue their tempting tasters and samples, my first of the day being a Welsh Violet Liquor and Rhubarb Vodka from Halewood Craft Wines and Spirits, followed by a complimentary cocktail available for all ticket holders aptly titled ‘Spirit of Summer’, a delicious mulled strawberry and gin delight. Luckily, The Great British Chip Shop truck owner Lee Caffery had something a little out of ordinary to offer for those feeling peckish. Priding themselves on their ‘Old School & New Wave Fish ‘n’ Chips’ Caffery, alongside his co-workers Angela and Glen take inspiration from around the world for their menu which ranges from Crispy Beef, Gin and Tonic Infused Fish and Chips to my personal favourite, Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing. Noticing a gap in the market, Caffery decided to incorporate more ‘cultural friendly’ ideas into his menu as a light-hearted response to immigration factors.
Local acts organized by original artist Thom Morecroft entertained guests throughout the two days. Inside the Greenhouse David John Jaggs took to the stage with his acoustic guitar for some easy-listening originals whilst sunbathers relaxing on the grass surrounding the Palm House were serenaded by the sweet sounding duo White Little Lies on the Marquee stage. Other acts across the two dates included Seafoam Green, Eleanor Nelly and Karen Turley.
Anyone could indulge their senses at the family friendly event whether you were on driving duties or watching the calories. Luke Pearson and Ben Branson, ambassadors for SEEDLIP demonstrated the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit which won them Gold at the Chelsea Flower show last year. With two choices, SEEDLIP SPICE 94, a blend of spiced berry, bark and citrus peel, and SEEDLIP GARDEN 108, named after the 108-day growth of the sugar snap peapod, consumers were able to enjoy a refreshing beverage similar to that of a general spirit and mixer.
For those that do fancy a drink, but something a little lighter on the lips, Steve Moran and Jenz Larsen have the answer in their revolutionary low calorie future mixer from SOHO Juice Co. Available in flavours Cucumber, Mint, Lemon and Lime and Blood Orange, Raspberry and Ginger. The former proved the perfect ‘cool down’ refreshment mixed with Lemon Drizzle Sipsmith Gin. However, being a rum lover myself I was quickly drawn to the dark-fabric draped stall in the corner of the entrance to discover Cloven Hoof, a sweet Rum with mixes from Giana and Trinidad resulting in a caramelized, smoky taste, a perfect way to wrap up the day.
Located right in the heart of Sefton Park some may have found the location of the festival a little too testing under temperatures of up to 24 degrees, but it’s well worth it for a day filled with delicious samples and unique food all for £5, what more could you ask for on a spring Bank Holiday weekend? Here’s hoping to see you there next year. For more information and a list of partners from the festival visit their website https://www.spiritliverpool.co.uk/