If gin is your thing then you would probably love to go behind the scenes of a distillery and see how it is made.
In the West London area and a little further away in the capital there are several distilleries which allow us to go in and do just that.
They give us the chance to take a tour, learn about the history of gin, and maybe get hands and noses on with the equipment and ingredients.
Perhaps there will even be the chance to create your own gin.
And of course there may even be opportunities to sample the gins for yourself.
As it is World Gin day on Saturday, June 9, this has to be the perfect opportunity to book up a tour for some time this year.
Like we need an excuse anyway.
Here are 7 gin distilleries in and not far from West London which you can visit.
1. Sipsmith Distillery
Located on the edge of London in Chiswick, every bottle of Sipsmith is hand-crafted in small batches.
Tour-goers will be greeted with a ginny tipple in hand and be taken through the chequered history of gin and learn how Sipsmith came to be.
The three copper ladies, Prudence, Patience and Constance will then take centre stage and visitors will learn how the award winning spirits were carefully crafted.
Address: Cranbrook Road, Chiswick , London W4 2LJ
Book a visit: www.sipsmith.com
2. Bimber Distillery
This micro distillery in North Acton will take you through the world of gin, vodka and whisky-making on its tours and experiences.
You could take a guided tour and tasting of Bimber’s award-winning gin and vodka , where you will get to know the gin ingredients and the equipment, and taste the barley, oak-aged and fruit infused vodka as well as its London Dry Gin.
Or maybe you will treat your date to a cocktail masterclass and distillery experience for two.
Whisky fans can spend a whole day at the distillery, learning how to operate the equipment and distill single malt whisky.
Address: 56 Sunbeam Road, North Acton, London, NW10 6JQ
Book a visit: www.bimberdistillery.co.uk
3. The Ginstitute at The Distillery
Not only can you eat, drink and even stay the night there but it is it a working distillery which produces its own internationally-renowned Portobello Road Gin in The Ginstitute.
You can experience gin making at The Ginstitute where your gin instructor will take you through the history of gin, you’ll visit the still room and you will get hands and nose on with the ingredients and create your own recipe.
Address: 186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 1LA
4. City of London Distillery
The City of London Distillery opened in a cocktail bar in bride lane off Fleet Street in 2012 and went on to win a plethora of awards for its drinks in 2017. It now distributes across the UK and internationally.
Its retro, speakeasy-style cocktail bar overlooks the striking copper stills of the distillery.
There are several types of tours and experiences you can book at the distillery. Perhaps you might just have a tour, or combine a tour with a spot of gin tasting. You can even design and distill your own bottle of gin in the gin lab.
Address: 22-24 Bride Lane, London, EC4Y 8DT
Book a visit: www.cityoflondondistillery.com
5. Half Hitch
This micro distillery is based in north London at Camden Lock, which was the heart of London’s gin distilling and warehouse trade in the late nineteenth century.
Half Hitch uses the botanicals of black tea, bergamot, wood, hay and pepper in its award-winning gin.
The micro-distillery is open for us to call into every day from 11am to 5pm.
You can also join its Gin School session and make a bespoke gin and learn about the drink.
Address: Unit 53, West Yard, Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF
Book a visit: www.halfhitch.london
6. Beefeater Gin Distillery
The distillery is based in Kennington where the iconic London dry gin remains hand-crafted to a recipe that is unchanged since the 1800s.
Tours run at the distillery Monday to Saturday.
Address: Montford Place, Kennington, London, SE11 5DE
Book a visit: www.beefeaterdistillery.com
7. Puddingstone Distillery, Hertfordshire
Perhaps you would prefer enjoying your gin in the countryside – if so, you could nominate a non-drinking driver and head out to the north of the Chilterns for an evening at this distillery in Tring.
Ben and Kate Marston launched Puddingstone Distillery in 2014 and produce their award-winning Campfire Gin in small batches.
On selected Thursday evening dates the pair host two-hour evening distillery tours which give an insight into the history of gin, Puddingstone Distillery and how they make Campfire Gin. It includes two cocktails from the Campfire Gin menu plus samples.
You will have to book ahead though – the next available dates according to the website are November 1, and 22 and December 6.
Meanwhile, you can call into the shop on Fridays and Saturdays between 9.30am and 5pm.
It will take you less than an hour to get there in good traffic from Uxbridge, Harrow, Hounslow and Ealing, according to AA Route Planner .
Address: Unit 1, Artisan Workshops, P E Mead & Sons Farm Shop, Lower Icknield Way, Wilstone, Tring, Hertfordshire, HP23 4NT
Book a visit: www.puddingstonedistillery.com