I must admit that I am partial to the odd tipple – the odder the better! I love to learn about alcohol and our historical fascination for it. That’s why I have done my fair share of tastings, be they wine, whisky or any other beverage that intrigues me. So you can imagine my excitement when I enjoyed a gin tasting in London.
The Only Gin Distilled in the City of London
My curiosity certainly needed satisfying when I learned of a gin distillery in the centre of London. My husband came with me (kicking and screaming as you can imagine) for a lunchtime tasting and tour of the distillery.
Just off Fleet Street, you walk down a narrow lane, and as you enter the building and walk down the stairs, you have a feeling of stepping back to the 18th century. A time when gin had become extremely popular with around 10 million gallons being distilled in the capital per year.
It was a lovely warm day as we sat in the COLD gin bar, well that’s to say the City Of London Distillery. We received a very warm welcome and enjoyed a chilled pre-tour gin and tonic to get us in the mood, which certainly did the trick. Served simply with a slice of pink grapefruit to enhance the citrus flavours of this very smooth and sophisticated gin.
Let the Gin Tour Begin
We had time to look around the bar and also get a glimpse of Clarissa and Jennifer toiling away in the corner behind a toughened glass screen! Yes these are the two very aptly named stills used in the gin-making process.
The curvaceous copper gleamed as they worked tirelessly to create the only gin now made in the City of London.
The tour, which lasted for over an hour was funny, interesting and very informative. All the people we met had a genuine passion for what they were doing. We had a much greater insight into the world of small batch gin making and an appreciation of the gin itself.
If the tour has inspired you to learn more, you can also enrol on another type of visit, to design and make your very own bottle of gin, in a afternoon !
They also have a bar which opens in the evenings. Why not soak up the atmosphere and sample a superb selection of gins from around the world, which currently totals approximately 150 different varieties?
The Gin Journey
When we had our first introduction to gin, a number of years ago, there was very little choice. In fact the only real choice was whether you wanted it with tonic or – yes – bitter lemon. Now, with the introduction of small batch gin distilleries, the market has changed beyond compare. These changes have fuelled the more recent popularity of gin amongst all ages.
As we expect to see lots of choices of wines in our bars and restaurants, we are now also enjoying the same variety in the gins we drink. We can savour each flavour and search for a new blend to enthuse over with friends.
The City of London Distillery, although small, now has 4 different gins to its name. This week they launched their latest offering, Christopher Wren, created by Master distiller Tom Nichol, of Tanqueray 10 fame.
Small Batch is Beautiful
These small batch distilleries are the future of gin, allowing the distiller to be creative and flexible with their experimentation and choice of ingredients.
This results in gins that are truly unique, which is something they should be very proud of and we should be extremely grateful that we have so much choice.
So the next time you are searching for a new gin to try, remember that small batch is beautiful.
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