Calling all gin aficionados! Who’s in the mood for a festive gin and tonic? We have a feeling you are.
Known as the quintessential explorers’ tipple, G&T’s have been the beverage of choice for discerning drinkers in Britain. These days, most cities around the world have an array of chic gin bars but there’s nothing quite like the gin scene in London.
The history of gin goes back to the days of the British army in India at the start of the 19th century. During this time, officers in the army discovered the health benefits of quinine in tonic water. It was found that mosquitos were repelled by quinine, which saved many in the arm from contracting Malaria in hot climates.
Since being used as a mosquito deterrent back then, gin and tonics have become super trendy. There’s no denying that London is by far the UK’s most gin-soaked city. The streets are lined with sumptuous gin tasting experiences. You’ll find everything from distillery tours and tutored tasting to gin cruises and even build-your-own bottle workshops.
Keep reading to discover the very best gin tasting experiences the capital has to offer.
Gin Masterclass at The Trading House
The Trading House makes for the perfect gin masterclass to celebrate a special occasion. Set in the extraordinarily transformed Grade II building, the Gresham Street restaurant and bar, this is a gin tasting experience like no other. You’ll get to sample some of the world’s very best gin while surrounded by historical splendour.
Gin Tasting With Cocktails And Canapés at The Hyde Bar
The Hyde Bar presents its patrons a whole gin Bible showcasing one of the largest collections of gin you’ll find. This includes the more curious and unusual tastes the world of gin has to offer. Curated over a year, the task of building the Hyde Collections is now complete and means they feature some of the most exceptional gins in the world. The Hyde Bar is the ideal hideaway from the bustle of London and boasts old British luxury and charm everywhere you look.
Hayman’s Hot Gin Masterclass at The Windmill ClaphamView this post on Instagram
A big, cosy thanks to our friends at @haymansgin for our fab gin goodies! Fancy a warming tipple or two? Join us in our Ski Lodge on 28th November where we’ll be tasting some of Hayman’s finest and infusing our very hot apple spiced gin! Tickets are £10, 7-9pm. Link in bio. . . . #gin #ginlover #haymans #winter #cosy #clapham #claphamcommon #sw4
The festive season is in full swing. And there’s no better way to celebrate it than with a hot, spiced drink. Join the Hayman’s team at The Windmill Clapham and be transported back to a time when gin was served warm. The gin tasting experience walks you through the history of gin before showing you how to infuse your own hot spiced apple gin. You’ll enjoy your drink with mince pies for maximum festive spirit!
Gin & Tonic Experience at The Donovan Bar
If elegance is what you’re after, then look no further than the Donovan Bar at Brown’s hotel. Guests are taken on the ultimate gin journey featuring herbal, dry, and spiced varieties. Perfect for a romantic date, The Donovan Bar is an intimate, classy and relaxing space in which to chill out to the sounds of jazz wafting through the bar. Plus, your palate will be educated and expanded with each sip.
Gin Blending Masterclass with Serata Hall
How about creating your own botanical gin blend and then bottling it yourself? Get down to Serata Hall in Shoreditch where you’ll blend, bottle and name two of your own gins to take away at this seriously unique masterclass. Your personalised bottles would make the ideal Christmas gift – if you’re willing to part ways with them, that is.
The Chesterfield Mayfair’s Premium Gin and Tonic Experience
Gin tasting has reached a whole new level at The Chesterfield Mayfair. Located in the sumptuous hotel bar, this bespoke experience offers tastings of premium gin ranging from floral to citrus. Guests are even encouraged to try combinations ranging from sweet to savoury, citrus to spiced, smooth to floral. The mixologists ensure you sip on only the finest blends of perfectly complementing flavours.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery Tour
This state-of-the-art distillery is a quintessentially British heritage site and houses the headquarters of the most famous gin in the world. Groups are offered a guided gin distillery tour where they will get to discover the beautiful botanicals in Bombay Sapphire gin. Throughout the day, you’re encouraged to build your own aroma profile before sipping on a personalised complimentary cocktail in the Mill Bar at the end of the tour.
Gin Masterclass at Merchant House
Right in the historical heart of London, you’ll find this hidden bar with one of the largest spirit collections in the world. This is an award-winning bar and their in-house experts are ready to take you through a gin tasting that celebrates their collection of fine and rare bottlings. For a more intimate experience, you can opt for a private version of this masterclass with the most exclusive gins on offer.
Gin Cruise with Gin on The River
We admit this one is more of a summer option but a cosy winter gin cruise works too. Gin on the River invites you to set sail on a picturesque three-hour cruise around the Olympic Park, Hackney Wick and East London Canal Network. While you enjoy the sights, you’ll be sipping on gorgeous gin creations served in cool souvenir glasses that you get to take home.
Distillery Tour, Gin Tasting And Three-Course Gin-Inspired Dinner with The Sipsmith Sipper Club
This is one gin tasting journey you’ll never forget. If an evening of fine dining and gin sipping sounds like your kind of thing, then be sure to check out the Sipsmith Sipper Club. You’ll be greeted with a ginny tipple before being escorted through the history of how Sipsmith came to be the first new copper distillery in 1820. This is followed by a gin-inspired three-course meal created by Chiswick’s best-loved local restaurant, Charlotte’s Bistro.
Gin And Tonic Masterclass at Skylon
Skylon in Southbank is the quintessential chic gin tasting experience. Skylon’s mixologists curate a true epicurean experience; a tasting of three exclusive gins each paired with an appropriate tonic. The team will explain the nuances of each gin and the delicacy of the tonic its paired with to you. After sampling the gins at the bar, savour a three-course lunch from their set menu.
Gin Tasting And Cocktails at Crazy Bear Clubhouse
If you haven’t heard of the Crazy Bear Clubhouse, you’re not alone. The Crazy Bear Clubhouse is a private venue for Crazy Bear Members and guests must be over 21. But this exclusive tasting gives you access too! The best way to pay tribute to this iconic spirit is to visit this opulent venue set in the heart of Covent Garden. Surrounded by marble and crystals, you’ll be perfectly prepared to celebrate the joy of gin and the way in which it’s impacted the country through the years.
Uncover London’s Gin Tasting Experiences
After reading this article, it should be clear that there are few better places in the world for gin & tonic lovers than London. It seems the drink’s refreshing and delicate flavour has cemented it as a firm favourite. Not to mention the variety of tonics and garnishes now available, which means it’s the perfect beverage to have fun and experiment with.
For a few decades, G&T’s remained popular but basic. A slice of lemon was the most daring you’d get when being served one at a bar. But today, gin and tonics are in the midst of a sort of artisanal revival. From pink gin to exotic garnishes and everything in between, we’re witnessing a distilling renaissance. And the best news is that there’s an experience to suit everyone’s lifestyle, taste and budget.
More of a whisky drinker? Choose from a selection of London’s best whisky tastings, from premium Irish whiskey to bourbon and scotch.