Haymans Gin Supper Club Lord Dudley Hotel Sydney dinner

Why you need to go to the Hayman’s Gin Supper Club Sydney

When you’re invited to a gin flight led by the fifth-generation distiller of the world’s oldest family-owned brand, you don’t say no.

James Hayman was in Sydney last week to launch Hayman’s Gin Supper Club, a limited-time-only dining experience that puts a London twist on gin and food pairing at the Lord Dudley Hotel in Woollahra.

Haymans Gin Supper Club Lord Dudley Hotel Sydney 1

Given that the Lord Dudley is one of the closest things to a traditional English pub that you might find in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, its partnership with Hayman’s makes sense.

A tall and affable fellow, James’s devotion to the family business extends so far that he was able to tear himself away from his newborn daughter and wife Miranda back in the UK to attend.

Haymans Gin Supper Club Lord Dudley Hotel Sydney alcohol

James guided us through the smooth floral notes of Hayman’s Old Tom through to the ‘navy strength’ of the Royal Dock (at 57 % alcohol, it will put hairs on your chest), concluding finally with the lip-smackingly good Sloe (which is not unlike sipping fruit cake).

All five products in the Hayman’s line contain the same 10 botanicals in varying ratios, to give them their distinct flavours. I was lucky enough to be seated next to a guest with a palate far superior to mine, yet with far less of an innate need to appear knowledgeable on such things. So, to get through this part of the evening, I just took to loudly repeating everything my neighbour quietly said, such as “mmm coriander” or “am I getting pepper?” It seemed to work. Oddly enough no one wanted to sit next to me at dinner.

Haymans Gin Supper Club Lord Dudley Hotel Sydney food drink

As he took us through all five of Hayman’s’ gins, James provided an education not only on the drink at hand but on the origins of gin and the market’s current taste for it.

During the 1700s, gin production in London was ‘out of control’ and sold in casks. It wasn’t until the 1850s and the rise of the ‘gin palace’ that the drink became more refined and sophisticated. This ‘old’ gin is the stuff of Hayman’s. Australian gins, James explained, are considered ‘new wave’.

“The Australian gin category has grown by 20% over the last three years, testament that there is a real appetite and thirst for knowledge about this great tipple,” James said. “It is one of the fastest growing spirits in Australia in the past 12 months, with 97% of all gin consumed in Australia imported from overseas distillers.”

It’s not surprising that Hayman’s Sloe is its best seller in Australia. It is damn delicious.

While a tasting flight is not part of the Supper Club, a gin and food paired dinner is. Patrons can choose from two starters (cured salmon, and a pork and veal terrine) and two mains (panfried sand whiting and Mirrool Creek Lamb Rump) with matching gin-based cocktails. The whiting was hands-down a winner.

Hayman’s Gin Supper Club at the Lord Dudley Hotel runs 1-31 October, 2017.

Haymans Gin Supper Club Lord Dudley Hotel Sydney food

Location: The Garden Restaurant, The Lord Dudley Hotel, 236 Jersey Road, Woollahra

Dates: 1 – 31 October, 2017

Bookings:  02 9327 5399 or lorddudley.com.au

Pricing: Entrée + cocktail for $25.00

               Main + Cocktail for $40.00

Supper Club Special: one entrée + one main + two cocktails for $60.00

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