City of London Distillery is a fine bar. Not only have they brought gin making back to London after an absence of nearly 200 years, now they’re letting you make your own gin in their purpose built Gin Lab.
Your gin class starts with a drink or two and you’ll learn about one of the key parts of gin: the botanicals. Juniper might be what makes your drink a gin, but it’s the botanicals that give it flavour and personality and every single gin is different because of them. To make a tipple that you actually want to drink, you need to understand what it is you like about the scents and flavours. And how they work together. It’s a tricky business. Best have another sip.
Now it’s time to move on to the science. Each pupil at the Gin Lab gets their own mini gin still (adorably named after one of the seven dwarves) and after careful measuring and weighing, your ingredients are ready to go into the still with your base spirit. The still will do the hard work for you, bubbling away and slowly infusing the spirit with those botanicals your chose earlier.
What are you doing while this is going on? Of course, you’re coming up with a name for your gin and designing your own personal gin label. You’ve probably got time for a tour of the distillery. And another G‘n’T, naturally. This is the best lesson ever.
When the gin has done its thing, it’s time to decant into your bottle to take home. The final flourish is a perfect red seal. And the best part is that you can take this bottle home with you.
There are a few gin making classes in London but this one lets you get in on the distilling action yourself rather than working with pre distilled botanicals. This way you have more control over what you’re playing with and more importantly you get to play scientist in a really cool lab.
Located in the super trendy Brick Lane, where else?
The Gin Lab is open weekday afternoons and a couple of evenings throughout the week. Or you can book your class for a Saturday afternoon. Classes take a couple of hours.
What you need to know:
You’re involved in every single bit of the process with this experience — right down the design of your gin label.