Gin is often associated with England but in reality this juniper brandy, called Grenever, was created in the Spanish Netherlands at the end of the 1688th century. England produced this alcohol from XNUMX when King William III of Orange-Nassau banned the import of foreign eaux-de-vie and encouraged the production of gin to compete with French cognac.
As a result of these measures, gin is becoming too popular and is wreaking havoc, especially in London. In the 1950th century, it was for many London workers a drink that stifled hunger, extinguished pain and protected from the constant cold. This cheap twist is nicknamed "The Mother's Ruin" - because it destroys families and makes men sterile. Over the decades, gin suffered from a bad reputation resulting in a drop in consumption in the XNUMXs and the closure of distilleries in London.
Considered a little “old-fashioned” in the 80s, it made a comeback in the 2000s and became a fashionable alcohol used for the elaboration of cocktails such as Gin Tonic, Gin Fizz or the inevitable Martini dry. , James Bond's favorite drink.
Today several small distilleries produce gin in London and a few open their doors to the public who can take a behind-the-scenes look at the making and participate in masterclasses.
In addition, if you are more a beer lover, an article devoted to visits from brasseries is also at your disposal 😉
Beefeater Gin Distillery
The name of this famous gin, refers to the famous guardians of the Tower of London the “beefeaters” or Beef eaters whose bottle is easily recognizable with the design of a guard wearing a Tudor uniform.
Beefeater has been producing gin since 1820 in Kennington, made from nine natural aromatic plants (bitter orange peel and lemon, juniper berry, angelica seed, coriander and almond ...) which are macerated for 24 hours before being distilled for 8 hours.
The distillery, which is housed in a magnificent Edwardian building, has a museum that traces the history of the brand through an interactive tour with an iPad. Guided tours lasting 1 hours offer the opportunity to see the stills from the Victorian era and participate in a gin tasting.
This visit is included in the tourist card London Pass.
Address : 20 Montford Plane, Oval, London SE11 5DE
Bermondsey and Gin Jensen's Distillery
Bermondsey is a small distillery located under the railway arches near London Bridge and Maltby Street Market.
The brand of Gin Jensen's was founded by Christian Jensen in 2004 who wanted to revive the styles of gin of yesteryear using traditional herbal remedies.
Today Jensen's is a premium gin brand that can be found in major hotels such as The Savoy and the Mandarin Oriental, to name a few.
The distillery is open to the public for tours which take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays and can be booked by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address : 55 Stanworth Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 3NY
City of London Distillery
The City of London Distillery opened in December 2012 in the Jonathan Clark Cocktail Bar in Bride Lane. For the manufacture of its gin, City of London uses a maximum of 8 plants: Bulgarian coriander, angelica root, lemon peel, orange and grapefruit.
Two-hour tours of the distillery are offered on weekends during which the public can participate in a tasting and create their own gin recipe.
Address : 22-24 Bride Lane, London EC4Y 8DT
East London Liquor Company
Located in the Southwark neighborhood and near Borough Market, the East London Liquor Company distillery is housed in a former glue factory where several spirits are produced such as gin, rum, whiskey and vodka.
East London Liquor Company distils using traditional methods, infusing grapefruit rind, cardamom and cubeb berries.
Tours and tastings lasting 1 hours are organized on Friday and Saturday afternoons
Address : Bow Wharf, Unit GF1, 221 Grove Rd, London
Hayman's Gin Distillery Tour
Hayman gin was created in 1863 by James Burrough, a pharmacist who opened his small distillery in Cale Street, in the district of Chelsea. Today Hayman's is based in Balham, South West London and just a few miles from the original family distillery.
For the manufacture of his gin, Hayman uses 10 plants (juniper berries, coriander, nutmeg, licorice roots, orange and lemon peels) which are infused in wheat alcohol for a whole day.
The house continues the tradition by naming the copper stills after the names of the women of the family. Thus during the visit, we can meet Karin, Marjorie, and Miranda who are stills which are respectively 1000L, 450L and 140L.
The distillery is open to the public who can follow 75-minute guided tours and cocktail masterclasses.
Address : 8A Weir Road, Balham, London SW12 0GT
Sipsmith is a young artisanal distillery that first opened in 2009 in a small workshop in Hammersmith, then moved 2014 to settle on Cranbrook Road in the heart of Chiswick. It is the only London distillery with traditional copper stills since 1820 producing a gin with floral notes.
It is made from 10 plants (juniper berries, coriander, cinnamon, Angelica root, licorice root, iris root, almond powder, Cassia bark, Orange and Lemon zest) infused for about 15 hours.
The 90-minute tours by reservation take place on certain evenings of the week between 18 p.m. and 30 p.m.
Address : 83 Cranbrook Road, Chiswick, London W4 2LJ
At the heart of Notting Hill, stands a 3th century public house dedicated to the world of gin. On the top floor there is a tapas restaurant as well as an intimate hotel consisting of just XNUMX rooms with stunning views over Portobello Road.
On the ground floor, a cozy bar offers a menu of gin-based cocktails and finally in the basement hosts an unusual space: the famous Ginstitue! It consists of a small museum retracing the origins and history of gin and a working distillery where tours and masterclasses are organized. The opportunity to discover the stills bearing the names of King Henry and Copernicus The Fourth but also to create your own gin with the help of a "ginstructor" who gives advice on making the best recipe and explains the manufacturing process. At the end of this unique experience, participants leave with a bottle of gin containing their own blend.
Address : 186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1LA
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