London and Gin are synonymous bedfellows; from the Gin parlours of old to the merchant navy’s Gin rations, Gin and London have a very rich history.
But there's still plenty to do in London today if you're a Gin fan, from educational distillery tours to tastings to suit every palate. Here are our top picks of the very best Gin experiences.
1. Make your own Gin at The Ginstitute
Held above the home of Portobello Road Gin at The Portobello Star pub in Notting Hill, The Ginstitute
is a whirlwind masterclass in how to make your own Gin. The several hour experience includes a history lesson, tips on selecting botanicals, and how Gin is made.
Graduates of The Ginstitute even get a certificate, their own blend of Gin (the recipe of which is stored on file so additional bottles can be ordered at a later date), and a bottle of Portobello Road Gin, too.
2. Discover the history of Gin at The City of London Distillery
The home of City of London Gin, the C.O.L.D bar is a distillery come speakeasy, where you can order a killer Martini from knowledgeable bar staff, at the same time as seeing the distilling process in action through a glass wall.
The City of London Distillery
offers everything from simple tastings to distillery tours. Try their Evolution of Gin experience to explore the fascinating history of Gin and find out how it’s evolved over the centuries. Tickets include a five flight Gin-tasting.
3. Learn how Gin is made at Sipsmith Distillery
Head to Chiswick in West London to see how world-famous Sipsmith Gin is made. Their first copper still, Prudence, was the first to launch in London for nearly 200 years. She’s since been joined by Constance and Patience.
The Sipsmith distillery
tours run Monday to Wednesday evenings, and include a crisp G&T, learning how Sipsmith spirits are distilled, and a tasting of their award-winning range. As one of the most popular Gins in London right now, this isn’t one to be missed.
4. Join the Gin Social at Graphic Bar
On the first Monday of every month, Graphic Bar in Soho hosts the Gin Social
- an opportunity for Gin-lovers to meet like minded people, and the makers of the Gin of the Month. Entry costs just £5, and gets you a welcome G&T, a food pairing, and a signature serve. Upcoming brands include Langley’s No. 8, Plymouth Gin and Citadelle.
5. Head to The Oliver Conquest to try one (or two, or three…) of over 300 Gins
Oliver Conquest Pub
in East London pub is a Gin-lover’s paradise. With over 300 Gins in stock, and a dedicated Aperitivo bar upstairs which is dedicated to great Negronis and thatclassic Italian aperitif ritual, there really is something for everyone.
Passionate, friendly bar staff know their stuff, too, and will be more than happy to recommend any number of new things to try.
6. The Gin Journey
The brainchild of the award-winning, former bartender, Leon Dalloway, the Gin Journey
is a fun-filled experience now offered across three cities in the UK. The London Gin Journey will see you touring five different Gin parlours across the capital to try five different Gins.
A Gin carriage (or posh minibus) will ferry you from bar to bar, and you’ll quaff Gin cocktails and specially selected samples, all while learning about the history and production of everything that touches your palate.