It’s not often we find ourselves sipping on Brockmans at the end of a horse’s trailer, but when thirst calls, it’s certainly handy to have a gin bar on wheels…

It all started with a kettle. Growing up, instead of tea bags next to the kettle was always a bottle of Mother’s Ruin. Lee’s mother had been an avid gin fan for decades so it was fitting that on her 60th birthday the two would take a trip to The Feather’s in Woodstock and eventually grow their home gin collection to over 60. As their collection expanded, so did their knowledge of the spirit – something that would come in handy as Lee worked in bars in Leeds and Harrogate before travelling to Australia. Following a five-year stint as a mixologist aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships, Lee finally returned to England to purchase Louisianna’s Mobile Bars in July of 2016. By April 2017, the bar he named after his mother Gilli began hitting the streets. After just one summer touring weddings, festival and events, a second gin tin (affectionately known as the ‘gin twin’) was introduced in August 2017 with an expanded menu serving gin cocktails and Prosecco.

Gilli's Gin Tin Lee CowellDon’t let her size deceive you. Lee has sourced 44 of the world’s finest gins, eleven of which come from Yorkshire. Each G&T is paired with the perfect garnish; Brockmans of course with a slice of pink grapefruit and blueberries. We found ourselves on the menu as a result of being Lee’s drink of choice (his words), and having supported his mission and venture from the beginning. Exceptionally personable, Lee’s favourite thing to do is make suggestions on the wide variety of gins available. Converting those that claim not to like gin is his expertise, and he usually does so with Brockmans…

Gilli's Gin Tin Brockmans Gin Salad

1. Describe your bar in a few words.

A converted horsebox trailer stocking the UK’s favourite tipple – GIN!

2. What is the weirdest thing you overheard at your bar?

’I used to have great fun with American guests while working on cruise ships. Being Simon cowell’s nephew, room mate of Prince William at University and grandson of the man that invented the cocktail umbrella were just a few of the imaginative stories they were happy to believe!!…. I am a trustworthy person though, honestly!!’

3. Why is gin so popular?

The increased use of weird and wonderful botanicals coupled by the popularity of flavoured tonics and stand out glasses and garnishes make a gin and tonic very different to the standard gin and tonic with ice and a slice of old.

4. What about Brockmans appeals to you?

The exotic and mysterious flavours. The fruitfulness and unique flavours. It’s also very adaptable.

5. If you could have one last drink before you died, what would you choose.

A negroni. My favourite drink…. and I’ll make it with Brockmans… why not!!!

Gilli's Gin Tin Brockmans GinGilli’s Gin Tin’s Perfect Serve

By Lee Cowell

Ingredients

  • Brockmans Gin
  • Fentimans Grapefruit Tonic
  • Slice of Grapefruit
  • 3 Blueberries

Method

Mix the gin and tonic and garnish with a slice of grapefruit and three blueberries.

Gilli’s Gin Tin is in residence at the Trinity Kitchen food court until February 4th before heading back on the road for festivals, weddings and events.