Our lovely friend Alison recently invited Emily and I to a Chase Distillery Gin and Vodka tasting evening at Tivoli Wines, a boutique wines shop in Cheltenham. Alison had been to some similar tasting events at Tivoli Wines previously and highly recommended it.
The evening was hosted by a chap called Fred from the Chase Distillery, with help from Guy serving the samples throughout the evening. There were about 30 guests at the event, sampling around a dozen spirits in total. Fred began the evening by telling the interesting story about how the Chase Distillery started out, by a potato farmer who also created the Tyrrell's crisp brand in local Herefordshire. As each sample was distributed to the guests, Fred talked through how each spirit was created, how it is best served and so on.
I'm not a big fan of Vodka, so I only really came for the Gin side of the evening. I admit I was a little disappointed at first, when I discovered that the majority of the samples were Vodka. By the end of the evening I was definitely a convert to good quality Vodka, with the Marmalade Vodka being my favourite sample of the evening.
The evening was good value at £20 per ticket. The only improvement I would have liked would have been a good selection of spirits. Gin and Vodka aren't the type of spirits that a lot of people drink straight, so although it was good to taste the flavour without mixers, it would have been great to try the samples in a way that I would drink them at home.
Earlier in the evening we had dinner at Yo! Sushi in Cheltenham, which opened a few months ago. I went for lunch on the day it opened and was quoted in the local Gloucestershire Echo [you can read the article here]. I just wanted to mention that although Yo! Sushi is best known for it's selection of raw and cooked fish dishes, they have a great selection of vegetarian dishes too. I've been a vegetarian for a number of years and I definitely think that Yo! Sushi is one of the tastiest places to enjoy a meat and fish free meal on the high street.
My top vegetarian dishes at Yo! Sushi are the Aubergine Salad, Vegetable Tempura, Edame Peas, Tofu Katsu Curry and finally my favourite, the Pumpkin Korroke. Although my iPhone snaps may not make it look like the most appealing cuisine, it's absolutely delicious and full of lots of different and exciting flavours.