The Gin Whore Tour

Much has been said and written about gin but Dorothy Parker probably uttered the most appropriate for this event. Forming its indispensable base she remarked, “I like to have a martini, two at the very most, three I'm under the table, four I'm under my host.” For The Gin Whore Tour our host was Kate O'Neil. No one physically ended up under her even though we sampled four gins, but we certainly came under the influence of her charm and the juice of the juniper.

Bold as a beefeater, gutsy as gunpowder, cool as an iceberg and happy as a hawker, Kate did a diamond delivery.

This is not a tour in the sense of walking around the streets of Edinburgh, but rather of taking a journey through the history of this most famous of drinks and sampling its pleasures en route. Her world premiere presentation took place in the perfect setting of the Devil’s Cut, the boutique-style underground joint with the speakeasy feel beneath the Angels Share hotel and its chandelier-laden bar. Before the first sip Kate started her ‘delve into historical tales of hooch and harlots’.

Gin and debauchery have gone hand in hand over the centuries and nowhere more than in the UK. Its association with loose women, backstreet abortions, filth and squalor gave it a bad name until it became taxed out of the reach of working people and the upper classes reinvented it for themselves and made it posh. Commercially it suffered another decline when vodka became the in drink of pubs and cocktails bars until only a few years ago. When the variations on vodka became exhausted attention once again returned to gin and there are now new distilleries appearing all over the country and around the world with gin sales are soaring.

All this and much more can be gleaned from Kate’s light-hearted, humorous and highly entertaining little gin jaunt. She draws on her fifteen years in the imbibing business that saw her set up one of the first mobile cocktail bars, provide drinks in Downing Street and has brought her to her status as a leading drinks marketing, events and promotions organiser. She clearly relishes her role as Gin Whore for which she flaunts herself in period costume and wears white powder. It’s all good fun but this is her job and she passionately want to spread the good news of gin, so it’s time to weave the samples into their historical context.

The brands may vary from one performance to another but they will always illustrate the four basic styles. With its roots in the Netherlands the oldest is Genever. Using a malt-spirit base this would be a perfect whisky drinker’s gin. Then it’s on to the more popular styles of later years. London Dry is the classic, with the distinctive nose and light body. It’s sweeter cousin is known as Old Tom and finally there are the Modern Gins that experiment with a wider range of botanicals and can have very distinctive flavours.

Thus the story is told and the gins are sampled along with some exciting new tonic waters. There is one of those in your goody-bag, along with a newly-designed tasting glass and a couple of postcards to take away. When it’s all over Kate is around to answer more questions and, of course, join you for another gin. Bold as a beefeater, gutsy as gunpowder, cool as an iceberg and happy as a hawker, Kate did a diamond delivery. Cheers.

Reviews by Richard Beck

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

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The Blurb

Take a sip of sin and tonic! You'll enjoy four of the finest gins during this slightly naughty one-woman show. Delve into historical tales of hooch and harlots to celebrate the modern gin renaissance.

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