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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.

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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.

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Bar reviews Cocktails Ginvent

The City of London Distillery Bar

The COLD Bar, situated just off Fleet Street and boasting over 200 gins, is yet another one of those speak-easy style cocktail bars which has been popping up around the capital for the past couple of years. Candles? Check. Quirky décor and antiques? Check. Impeccably dressed barmen? Check.

Don’t get me wrong, I like all of those things, but there are plenty of other places that fit the bill. But there’s a little extra something which sets the COLD bar apart; the massive fuck-off copper working still in the middle of the room.

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We sat at the bar, mainly to admire the number of gin bottles on the back bar, but also to watch the barmen at work. I tried their signature Martini, complete with grapefruit peel, which was strong, warming and delicious. Highly recommended. For an exceptional choice of gins (although their own-brand is worth a try, too) in the square mile, look no further.