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Christmas Spirit Is Officially Gin, Say Experts in One of UK’s Most Festive Cities

Experts in York - one of Britain’s most Christmassy cities - say they’ve unearthed the true spirit of Christmas.

Bosses at York Gin have developed a festive red cocktail with edible gold called the 'Fairytale of Old York’ to serve at gin tastings in their Christmassy 16th Century shop. They’ve also developed a Chocolate & Orange gin inspired by festive favourite the Terry’s Chocolate Orange that was invented in York in 1932.

And there will be free hot gin drinks (including Gin Hot Chocolate, Mulled Gin and Hot Gin Apple Punch) for bus passengers coming into the city to do their Christmas shopping.

The Fairytale cocktail is served in a small Martini glass, rimmed with white sugar and gilded with gold leaf. It’s made from York Gin London Dry, Grenadine and lime juice with a gilded cherry on top. The Christmas cocktail will welcome drinkers to the Sparkly Christmas Gin Tastings in the York Gin shop after it’s closed for the day.

The shop - in the Tudor Thomas Herbert’s House - hit the headlines two years ago when repeated cheesy modern Christmas tracks were banned to protect staff’s sanity.

Says York Gin co-director Emma Godivala: ‘York has one of the country’s most popular Christmas markets and we have round-the-year Christmas shops. The people of York also have more fairy lights and baubles than most other cities.

‘And now we’ve unearthed the true spirit of Christmas. We’re not sure what the Pogues will make of the ‘Fairytale of Old York’ - but we’re happy to make a batch for Shane McGowan if he’d like a taste.’

Alex Mather (L) and Harri Marshall (R) at the York gin shop

York Gin Chocolate & Orange was the company’s best selling gin for the whole of 2020, despite being on sale for only two months from 1 November. Inspired by the Terry’s Chocolate Orange, invented in York in 1932 and made in the city for decades.

The Sparkly Christmas Tastings run from 6 November until 20 December each Monday, Friday & Saturday night.

From 17 November, travellers into the city on First Bus York will get a free hot gin drink when they arrive. Four pop-up bars in the city will serve York Gin Hot Chocolate, Mulled York Gin, Hot York Gin Apple Punch and other winter warmers.

The Chocolate & Orange gin is a full-strength dry gin, described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘exquisite’.

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