Gin-spiration: ways to celebrate World Gin Day

Date Posted: 07/06/2017

Gin

Whether you like it with tonic, cucumber or lime, there’s no doubt that gin has seen a huge revival as one of the UK’s top tipples. To mark World Gin Day we have found some of the best destinations and attractions for lovers of the spirit.

It may have once been known as Mother’s Ruin but today gin is fast becoming the quintessential British drink to enjoy all year round. And with UK gin sales growing by up to 40% in the last five years it’s no surprise that distilleries, experiences and tours are opening up and down the country.

In fact it’s so popular that it has a whole day dedicated to it which just so happens to be this weekend, on Saturday 10th June.

So what is World Gin Day?

Its beginnings sadly don’t date as far back as the spirit. The event first started in 2009 when blogger Neil Houston decided to gather his friends to celebrate the wonder of gin. The date has continued over the years and is all about getting people across the globe together to drink gin. And don’t worry if you miss it – there’s always Gin and Tonic Day on 19th October.

Beefeater Gin

Pictured: A Beefeater Gin distillery tour, London.

To celebrate we have picked out some of the best places for groups who share a love of gin...

London

Contrary to popular belief, gin wasn’t invented in the capital. In fact the Dutch can take credit for making the first form of the spirit – known as Genever – a herbal remedy during the Middle Ages. That said, gin certainly has its spiritual home in the city, which dates back to the infamous ‘Gin Craze’ of the 17th century.

The legacy can be found all over London, not least at The Distillery – a boutique hotel in Portobello Road – dedicated to gin drinking. Staff claim that no two drinks are ever the same because the gin is stored in barrels so that the flavour keeps developing. Groups can also learn how to make gin in The Ginstitute, which takes people through the 300-year history of the spirit.

Scotland

Did you know that more than 70% of the gin enjoyed in Britain is distilled in Scotland? The tradition of Scottish gin production is thanks in part to the juniper bushes which are common across the Highlands. Juniper berries are an essential ingredient of gin, and the Scottish variety is known for its distinctive rich and mellow flavour.

Iconic gin company Hendrick’s has been capitalising on this resource since 1886, however in more recent years a healthy crop of Scotland-based artisan gin producers has emerged, including Dunnet Bay Distillers, CrossBill Highland Distilling, and The Botanist.

Hendricks

Pictured: Hendrick's Gin.

If you want to take in as many of Scotland’s gin-based delights as possible, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association has helpfully mapped out the Scottish Gin Trail. Stretching from Edinburgh all the way up to Caithness, the trail takes in all of Scotland’s best gin distilleries and bars.

Spain

When it comes to drinks, you would be forgiven for associating sunny Spain more with sangria and cold beer than delicious, Juniper-infused spirits. So it may come as a surprise to learn that Spaniards actually drink more gin than any other nation in Europe.

In fact, Spain is the second largest gin market in the world, principally due to the phenomenal popularity of ‘Gin-Tonic’, the Spanish take on the familiar Gin and Tonic which is served in a balloon glass with plenty of ice and garnish.

You can enjoy gin in any Spanish city, but if you have to choose one head for Barcelona, where you’ll find a vibrant gin bar scene to rival any in the world, including the Old Fashioned Gin Tonic & Cocktail Bar, Bobby Gin, and Xixbar to name but a few.

Amsterdam

Finally, to make sure your knowledge of all things gin is truly complete, head to Amsterdam where you can experience the delights of ‘Genever’, the more complex juniper-based spirit forerunner of gin.

Amsterdams House of Bols

Pictured: Amsterdam's House of Bols Cocktail and Genever Experience.

Want to find out more? Head to Amsterdam’s House of Bols Cocktail and Genever Experience where you can discover how a great cocktail is made, and immerse yourself in the history and heritage of this exquisite spirit. Ticket prices includes a cocktail.

Our pick of the best UK-based gin attractions for groups...

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Hampshire

Located within a conservation area and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the Bombay Saphhire Distillery centre is a 20 minute drive from Basingstoke.

There are a range of behind-the-scenes experiences on offer including a gin workshop – where groups join gin experts before having a go themselves.
The distillery is open from 11am to 6pm from October to March and from 10am to 8pm from April to September. All group bookings must be made in advance.

Group discounts are available for parties of 11 or more.

45 Gin School, Leicestershire

Groups of up to 20 can enjoy a trip to the distillery in Bawdon Lodge Farm, based in the Leicestershire countryside. During a half-day experience visitors will be shown what it takes to produce craft distiller gin in a 450 litre copper pot, before they choose their own botanicals out of a choice of 120 different ingredients.

45 Gin School

Pictured: The workshop inside 45 Gin School.

A group visit also includes a tour of the craft distillery, where visitors can learn about the history of gin and distilling.

City of London Distillery

Thanks to these guys, gin distilling was brought back to the city in 2012 after an absence of nearly 200 years.

The City of London Distillery welcomes groups of between ten and 40 to the Gin Lab, to learn about distilling and to distil their very own personalised bottle of gin. There’s also a bit of friendly rivalry with a Gin Competition, which takes two hours and includes a G&T.

Beefeater London: the Home of Gin

At the Beefeater London distillery, visitors are taken through the story of London dry gin, to lift the lid on some of the events behind one of the world’s favourite spirits. 

The interactive experience takes visitors on a journey through the cobbled Victorian street markets of Covent Garden and allows fans to get up close and personal with the fragrant botanicals used in the creation of gin.

Group travel organisers booking for ten or more people qualify for discounted rates and one free place (groups are restricted to 15 guests). Advanced booking is essential.

facebook twitter