Brits love gin. In 2017, 9.5 million bottles of the spirit were bought in the UK, marking a 27 percent increase on the year previous. An embarrassing number of us will admit to owning a “Keep Calm and Drink Gin” mug. Many more will have been gifted a poster or novelty apron from a distant relative, emblazoned with the words, “If life hands you a lemon, make gin and tonic.”
No wonder, then, that Railroad Events—a company that runs drinks events on vintage trains—is facing the wrath of British gin drinkers after its Luxury Gin Train Experience failed to serve enough of the beloved spirit.
According to the Evening Standard, Railroad Events’ “unique gin tasting experience” offered gin lovers the chance to take a 45-mile train journey through Norfolk, while tasting a variety of bespoke gins. Tickets ranged from £22.50 to £40, and entitled guests to five 15-milliliter gin samples, as well as an option to upgrade to first class.
However, passengers were outraged when the company did not provide the boozy trip they had expected. Attendees on the Luxury Gin Train Experience trip last Friday took to Railroad Events’ Facebook event page to complain of disorganisation and disappointing drinks measures. Some said that they struggled to receive more than one (small) serving of gin, as staff were too busy to hand out drinks. Others complained of blocked toilets, ice shortages, and hot carriages.
“Shocking organisation from start to finish,” one unhappy passenger wrote on the event page. “Three serving at the arrival bar for a packed train. Not enough staff on carriages, leading to extremely poor service. [I was] expected to drink a neat thimble of gin with no tonic. Toilets blocked. First class a rip off.”
On its website, Railroad Events responded to the complaints, saying that “overall, [the company] received lots of very positive comments” and that it has “adjusted staffing levels accordingly.”
This isn’t the first time a “drinks experience” has failed to live up to the hype. Last year, events company Prime Live was accused of scamming customers after its “Prosecco and Balls” night failed to materialise, with some attendees travelling over two hours to find the venue empty.
But hey, *reads inspirational tea towel*, at least gin is cheaper than therapy!