Cocktails Ginspiration

Gin-based drinks from across the pond

My lack of posts over the past few weeks can be attributed to having the time of my bloody life in America and Canada. Rather than writing about what I’m drinking, I’m just getting on with drinking it.

Having said that, following a night that, regrettably, I can barely remember at Employees Only in NYC (a bar I’d been wanting to visit for months), I thought it best to showcase a few particularly nice tipples I’ve had recently, while I can still recall them.

First up, Pink Gin Cider, discovered in a beer garden in San Francisco. Neither pink, nor made with gin, but delicious nonetheless. Chewy, flat, cloudy, sweet and dry – as all cider should be. Will certainly be seeking this out again. 

Second, Canada’s favourite; the Ceaser. A sort of Bloody Mary but made with Clemato juice (a smoother, lighter version of tomato juice which I’m pretty sure has something to do with clams. No, really). Traditionally made with vodka, but would work beautifully with a London Dry Gin.

Third, this little beauty. The Sacred Narrative, which can be found at Chill Winston, in Vancouver’s Gaslamp district, is a heady blend of gin, agave, rose water, pomegranate, cinnamon, cardamom and bitters. It’s sweet, dry, strong and complex and is my favourite cocktail of the trip to date.

Events Ginspiration

The best places in London to make your own gin

Gin is booming in the capital and we’ve come a long way since Hogarth’s Gin Lane. Gin tours are the new pub crawl, independent distilleries are popping up all over the city, and it’s now possible for gin lovers to perfect their own blend.


Here’s my pick of the best places to make your own gin in London:

City of London Distillery – this super cool gin joint, just off Fleet Street, is already famed for its own brand gin and bar (resplendent with copper still on display), but it also features a Gin Lab. For £125, the Distillery Team will talk you through botanicals and help you create your very own special gin. Visitors take home a 70cl bottle and the experience includes a distillery tour and G&T.

Bump Caves – Part of the Draft House chain, this dive bar boasts a rotary evaporator which creates a vacuum, meaning the gin-making process can be done at a lower temperature, opening up a wider range of flavours for your tipple. Master Distiller Max Chater will guide you through the process and help you create a 70cl bottle of your very own gin to take away. The £95 ticket price also includes three cocktails, a 70cl bottle of Bump Cave’s own ‘Victory Gin’, and a meat and cheese board. Events run regularly.

Ginstitute at The Portobello Star – ‘Ginterns’ will learn about the history of London Dry Gin before creating their own. The Ginstitute will keep your recipe on file, so you can re-order at any time. Tickets cost £100 and include a cocktail reception, the history bit, a 70cl bottle of Portobello Road No. 171 gin, your own 70cl bottle of gin, and a Martini for good measure.


The Gin Annual 2014 / 2015

I was absolutely thrilled to receive my copy of Gin Foundry‘s Gin Annual in the post last month. Packed with information on various brands, cocktail recipes and a list of predictions for the Next Big Thing, the 42 page hardback book has taken some time to digest.


More than just a collection of articles and reviews from their website, the chaps at Gin Foundry have clearly put a lot of love into this first ever Gin Annual; the passion for the spirit is clear in every page of this beautifully designed book. 2014 was a huge year for the gin revival, and according to this, 2015 is set to be bigger.

I was pleased that the predictions for 2015 were more than just the brands with the biggest marketing budgets. I’ll be testing all of the ’10 gins to watch in 2015′ over the coming weeks. Watch this space!

‘Where can I get one?!’ I hear you cry! Well, you can’t, they’re out of stock. Buy me a G&T, and I might let you borrow mine. Sign up now at and make sure you get the 2015/16 edition at the end of the year.