Meet the BloggerNatalie Button, Gin Obsessions.
Published: 20th July 2019
In our latest Meet the Blogger, we caught up with Natalie Button, the woman behind Gin Obsessions. We find out how Natalie started writing about her favourite spirit, what her gin blogging journey looks like and how she plans to make the most of this gin-free period, also known as pregnancy!
When and where was your first Gin & Tonic?
I genuinely cannot remember, which possibly has something to do with how long ago it was and also perhaps because I may have consumed one too many at the time. My Papa (grandfather) was a gin drinker, he always drank Gordon’s gin and Schweppes tonic, because he could trust it. I guess when I first started going out to pubs, it was the most grown-up thing I could think of to order and it just kind of stuck.
What started you off on your blogging journey?
My Hubby has a fair few hobbies. Football, music, cycling, the list goes on and he’s out and about a fair bit. I, on the other hand, don’t really have any hobbies aside from flopping on the sofa after a day of teaching. One day he decided I needed to do something so he was going to find me a hobby. I was hugely into my gin but the gin craze hadn’t really hit and he suggested that I should start a blog to spread the word of gin and share my passion with others. I mulled it over and dismissed it a few times. After a period of nagging from him I finally conceded and published my first post on 6th May 2017, so here we are!
What’s the day job?
By day I’m a primary school teacher and have been for the past 12 years. My mum always said I would either be a Blue Peter presenter, on the West End stage or a primary school teacher. Definitely not the best paid option, but it does feel like I’m performing every day. I currently work with Year 3 children (they’re 7 and 8 years old) and I absolutely love my job, aside from the paperwork, and I genuinely have no idea what I would do if I wasn’t a teacher… but at times it certainly fuels my gin habit!
What do you do to stay abreast of the latest gin news?
I mostly keep up to date through social media, the platform I tend to use most is Instagram, although I am trying desperately to be better with Twitter. I’m fortunate to have built up contacts in the gin industry and I have lots of gin loving friends too. It’s a great community to be a part of and I spend a lot of time nattering to other gin lovers.
Who’s your favourite gin blogger?
Now that’s a tough one… when so many of them are my friends, I think I would be lynched for picking a favourite. I would say I most regularly keep up with Gin A Ding Ding, The Gin Lord, Under the Ginfluence and Emma Stokes (Gin Monkey.) They each have very different writing styles and varying opinions so it’s great to read the lot and get different ideas.
Tell us something about yourself outside the world of gin…
Ummmm, aside from my gin obsession, I also have a slight panda obsession too. My first teddy was a panda, which I think is where the whole thing stemmed from… my Granny has a lot to answer for! My classroom is filled with panda paraphernalia; teddies, pictures from the children, posters etc. I have panda clothes, pyjamas, and crockery, when Hubby proposed it was actually at the panda enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo. On a slightly more grown up note, I’m a bit of an 80s music nut. I love a good power ballad and Erasure is, in my opinion, the best band in the world EVER!
Would you admit to having a favourite gin?
Nope, never. It really does all depend on my mood, I would say I’ve got a top 10, but even that is subject to change, particularly with the fact that the industry is moving at such a fast pace at the moment. I do however have a favourite botanical, I absolutely adore grapefruit or pink grapefruit. I can pick it out immediately in a gin, I just love the soft, sherbet mouthfeel and flavour it gives to a gin once it has been distilled.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a gin blogger?
The community and the friends I’ve made are definitely way up there as being a best bit. I’ve met a couple of my best friends through being a blogger and for that I will be eternally grateful. I’ve attended some wonderful events, ranging from large gin festivals filled with hundreds of attendees to more intimate dinners with only a dozen people. Of course being sent sloshy post is also a huge perk of the job too, although I do have to take the time to photograph and write about it afterwards. The worst thing I guess is when I have a gin sent through which really isn’t to my taste but I have to write about it. For me honesty is paramount, but it’s finding a way of communicating that without causing any disrespect to the people who have put time, hard work and effort into creating the product.
Who’s supported you on your gin journey?
Definitely my Hubby, as he’s the one who pushed me into the whole blogging side in the first place. Friends and family are pretty incredible too, they are constantly spreading the word of Gin Obsessions and making sure that people are visiting my social media accounts and reading my blog.
What Scottish Gins are you looking forward to trying out next?
I’m a huge fan of Scottish gins and really enjoyed attending the OriGins festival at the end of last year. I’m really keen to try Arcturus Torridon Gin, which features some delicious berry botanicals along with kelp and also Lind & Lime gin from Port of Leith Distillery because I’m a sucker for a beautiful bottle.
What plans does Gin Obsessions have for the rest of 2019?
I must confess I have been a little slow this year and have a backlog of reviews to get out. I’ve got a journal full of my tasting notes and the pictures have already been taken, I really just need to knuckle down and get on with it! With my school summer holidays fast approaching I’ll most certainly have the time to do it then. 2019 is also going to see a bit of a content change for me as I am actually expecting my first baby! I’m currently putting together a gin lover’s guide to being off the booze, am desperately trying to recreate alcohol free versions of my favourite cocktails and I’m also going to be posting a lot more about mixers.
Gin Obsessions is an official supporter of International Scottish Gin Day 2019. Learn more here.