Cocktails Ginspiration

Gin Hot Toddy Recipe

Cold and flu season has struck. If you’re anything like me – wincing while gulping down a Lemsip and subsisting on now flavourless soup – you’ll be super grateful for this juniper-based take on the traditional Hot Toddy.

Photo: Johanna Kollman CCL
Photo: Johanna Kollman CCL

Juice half an orange into a mug. Add a teaspoon of honey, and a good slug of gin (Sipsmith works well, but anything with heavy juniper will work, too). Top with boiling water, bruise a couple of cardamom pods and add to the mix. Stir until the honey has dissolved, remove the cardamom pods, and enjoy.

If a couple of these don’t help your cold, you’ll at least be half cut and won’t care about your snotty nose anymore. Yay!

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Distillery tours in London

The gin renaissance is big business; not only are there new styles of the spirit popping up regularly and ruining mothers, but there’s money to be made in seeing how it’s done, too.

One of the many lovely things about being lucky enough to live in London is the ease of access to the capital’s very own Dry Gin (don’t worry, fellow Northerners and countryside dwellers, there’ll be a round-up of the best distillery tours outside of London coming soon).

Here are the best places in London to see gin being made (and in some cases, to make your own).


  1. The London Distillery Company

Based in Battersea, The London Distillery Company is home to Dodd’s Gin. A green, eco-friendly company which has designed a unique cooling water system to recover heat from its copper stills for use elsewhere. Tours are by appointment only and cost £15 per person.

2. Sipsmith Distillery Tours

Sipsmith opens its doors to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:15pm (but private tours are available). This Chiswick-based tour costs £15 per person and includes a gin and tonic on arrival and a tutored tasting on the Sipsmith spirits.


3. City of London Distillery

The COLD tours take place every weekday at midday and last 45 minutes. The tour, which costs £10 per person, includes ‘meeting’ the stills, observing the bottling, labelling and sealing process, and a miniature of City of London Dry Gin to take away. Evening tours, which take place Monday – Wednesday and Saturday evenings from 6pm, also include a gin tasting. Evening sessions cost £25 per person and last 60 minutes.


4. Beefeater London Distillery

Housed in an Edwardian building with a 1950s extension, the Beefeater Distillery features original Victorian pot stills. Tours are self-guided, running Monday – Saturday from 10am (last entry at 5pm), and culminate in a gin and tonic. Entry is £12 per person.

Ginvent Tasting notes

Sipsmith tasting

Sipsmith London Dry Gin (41.6% ABV) is pretty special – from the flavour and the process, right down to the bottle design (it’s so very pretty), everything about this gin has been carefully crafted.

Opening in 2009, Sipsmith is the first brand to launch with a copper still (that’s the kit where the gin is distilled) in London for nearly 200 years. The company prides itself on small batch production, and describes this gin as “the quintessential expression of a classic, traditional London Dry Gin”.

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The swan motif on the label is a reference to the ‘swan’s neck’ pipe where the spirit’s vapours rise above the still

It’s fresh and floral on the nose, with a dominant citrus scent. The juniper flavour packs a real punch, and on the whole, it has a sweet, smooth, delicate flavour.

For lovers of very dry gin and big juniper flavours, this is the spirit for you.