Meet the BloggerPam Lorimer, Sipping & Styling.
Published: 29th July 2020
Pam Lorimer, the founder of Sipping & Styling, is one of the many bloggers and consumers from the gin community we’ve come to know. Pam’s a big advocate of Scottish Gin who regularly talks about and showcases Scottish Gin on her social media channels. Along with Scottish Gin, Pam’s also an active home mixologist having recently taken part in the #Ginbledon challenge on Instagram that saw a variety of bloggers from the drinks community deliver some inspirational serves (the cocktail variety not the tennis variety). We recently caught up with Pam to learn more about her journey into the world of blogging and gin and who’s helped her along the way.
When and where was your first Gin & Tonic?
I ordered a Gordons and draft tonic at a local pub where my parents took me for lunch for my 17th birthday. I can remember thinking it was really refreshing and really enjoyed it (also felt terribly sophisticated). I was a nightmare to my friends when we used to go out in our early twenties, as I hated drinking the same things each round, I loved to mix my drinks – still do! But it was around 2006 that I first had Tanqueray and fell in love, the G&T became “my drink”.
What started you off on your blogging journey?
I started blogging back in 2015 after I had my first child. I loved writing to other parents about my own experiences as there seemed to be a lack of “real” parenting advice back then. I loved that community, but a mixture of feeling a bit disconnected from it when the kids started growing up and also some serious competition within the industry saw me close that down in 2018. I still loved writing and had done a few distillery reviews and cocktail posts as part of my parenting blog. My husband suggested setting up new page to pursue my love of all things gin and cocktails. The styling aspect was originally aimed at still keeping the parenting followers I had gained as they enjoyed seeing someone they could relate to share a mum perspective on fashion. But I quickly realised I have no style! But I do in fact love to style cocktail shots, so my Instagram has become my own form of styling.
What do you do to stay abreast of the latest gin news?
Social media! Especially Twitter and Instagram, they are an amazing way of staying up to date with what’s coming next. I follow some incredible accounts that really keep their fingers on the pulse and engage really freely with the gin community. Facebook groups – such as your own Gin Communicators – are a great way of finding out information too. Slowly over the last two years I have also built up relationships with brands and I have gained (hopefully) a decent reputation, so often I get sent exciting developments or news of new products that I love to share with my followers.
Who’s your favourite gin blogger?
Without a doubt I have been in awe of Emma AKA Gin Monkey for ages! She is incredible and her reputation is so well deserved. She has done so much to positively promote gin as a sector within the drinks market. Your own page has done the same for Scottish Gin. I love pages that actively seek to expand people’s knowledge rather than just review.
Tell us something about yourself outside the world of gin…
I am an avid reader. People may say that but I actually read anywhere between 200-300 books a year. I can speed read so a book doesn’t last me long. My favourite category is crime fiction but I read everything. My loft holds so many books that my husband keeps telling me the roof will fall through if I don’t get rid of some soon. My biggest challenge during lockdown has been the fact that charity shops have been closed, which is where I get the majority of my books! A few of the mums in my village have set up an informal book swap and recommendation club so I quite often drop a package of books at people’s doors and have the favour returned. Nothing (well, except maybe gin deliveries) excites me more than getting a new book.
Would you admit to having a favourite gin?
Never. It is always the first question a person asks when they see my collection. But it’s such a complicated question. Some days you want something light and fresh, others you wants a more punchy drink. I do sneakily have a top 5, but it can change as I try new gins.
What’s your personal perfect serve?
One huge ball of ice, 50ml gin to 150ml tonic, orange rind. It’s my go to serve.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a gin blogger?
Best thing is definitely the community. I love the genuine friendships that I’ve formed and am so grateful for all the people I have that I’m able to turn to for advice any time. When someone gets in touch for recommendations or to tell me they have tried a recipe, it makes my heart sing. Worst has got to be the lack of appreciation for the time and skill that goes into doing what we do. When I write a blog post then I put my all into it. Same for my Instagram shots. And when someone says something like “I’ll have to become a blogger to get all the free gin”, it can deflate me to think that’s all they see us as.
Who’s supported you on your gin journey?
So many great people including yourselves. Martin and Nat are true champions of anyone that is active in promoting Scottish Gin and have been a great source of advice for me. Christine (Social Gin Girl), is always a huge advocate online and Rhonda (Margarita Mum), who is a huge account always takes time to chat and interact, which is so important. My lovely fellow gin bloggers on Twitter and Instagram are so on my level and I couldn’t do it without them. And I can’t forget my amazing friends and family who will always share my posts, come to events with me and try my concoctions!
What Scottish Gins are you looking forward to trying out next?
It has to be Arbikie Nadar. It’s pretty revolutionary and I’m so supportive of brands who want to make an environmental change. It is a climate positive gin made from peas – how can you not be intrigued! My ‘to try’ and ‘to buy’ lists are excessive!
What plans do you have next for Sipping & Styling?
This year it’s all about taking things slow for me. Blogging is my hobby, but as I work full time it has to go on the back burner sometimes so I can put my family first. I grab bits of time here and there but can’t always commit to things in the way I’d like. For 2021, I’d like to make it more of a priority. I aim to invest in my site and myself (upgrade my WordPress and take a few SEO and IT courses) and get to a point in the next five years where I can seriously think about a career change. I love the idea of writing, marketing, events and joining the drinks industry at some point but it would have to make financial sense and I would have to have more knowledge and experience to bring to the table. In the meantime, I will continue to share my cocktail recipes and show off my favourite finds.