We all love mixing up a few cocktails at home, and you may have even attempted to make your own gin infusion at home! But if you love gin and are looking to take your gin knowledge up a notch, we’ve rounded up a selection of our favourite distilleries outside London where you can learn how to create, design and bottle your own bespoke gin - what a way to wow your friends next time they pop over for a G&T, right?!
TOP UK GIN SCHOOLS
Gin & Vodka School Experience Day
Nelson’s Gin Distillery, Staffordshire
This 5-hour experience is a gin-lover’s dream! It includes a guided tour of the distillery where the award-winning Nelson’s Gin (as well as Craft Gin Club’s exclusive June ‘19 Gin of the Month) is made, followed by a personal distilling session in which every student has their own mini-still in which to work. Relax with an ice-cold Nelson’s G&T over lunch and a talk on the history of gin before bottling, sealing and labelling your very own gin, ready to take home!
The Tarquin’s Cornish Gin Experience
Southwestern Distillery, Cornwall
The Southwestern Distillery in Wadebridge is home to Craft Gin Club member favourite, Tarquin’s Gin. Your experience will include a walking tour, a Botanicals Masterclass, a tutored gin tasting, and a chance to wax and seal a personal bottle of the good stuff ready to carry down to the beach with you for a few bespoke G&Ts as the sun goes down!
The Gin School at Salcombe Distilling Co.
The distiller from the team behind another Craft Gin Club favourite will take you step-by-step through the distillation process and explain how to produce a delicious gin. Personalise your label and wooden presentation box (a good Christmas present idea, maybe?) before heading over to the distillery bar at the Boathouse where you will get to taste your newly created gin with a range of tonics and garnishes - all while soaking in the fabulous views of the gorgeous Salcombe Estuary.
Cambridge Gin Laboratory, Cambridge
This beautiful old building in the city centre houses a space run by the Cambridge Distillery and dedicated entirely to educating people about and sharing passion for gin. Alongside gin-tasting events and molecular cocktail masterclasses, the Gin Lab also runs 2-hour Blend Your Own Gin sessions, during which you’ll learn about the history of gin, do a little sampling, then create your very own recipe - which they will keep on file so you can order more of it in the future should you wish!
Taking place in Leicester’s oldest retail building, overlooking Market Place, this 3-hour experience includes a cocktail and gin-tasting masterclass, a Q&A with the head distiller of Burleigh’s Gin, and a guided session in which you can create and personalise your own bottle of gin.
The Spirit of Masham Gin Experience
Spirit of Masham Distillery, North Yorkshire
There are over 100 botanicals available for participants at this North Yorks gin school to choose from when creating their own uniquely flavoured gin - don’t worry, you’ll be guided by the distillery’s head distiller on flavour combinations! They will also assist you when it comes to creating the right balance and texture, before leaving you to get creative with your personalised bottle label. Cocktail and gin-sampling are included in the day, too.
One of the most glamorous venues on our list, as befits this fashion-conscious city, the Liverpool Gin Distillery is a fabulous four-floor building devoted to the creation and appreciation of gin. Take a tour, tuck into some tastings, then take a seat at one of 32 mini copper pot stills to put your new-found knowledge into action. We’d recommend a visit to the swanky Basement Lounge bar to round off your day with a G&T to recover!
Piston Distillery Gin School
Royal Porcelain Works, Worcester
This 3-hour masterclass is an enjoyably intimate experience, with a maximum of 12 ‘students’ all joining in the fun together. We love that you get two gin cocktails and snacks included, plus a whopping 70 botanicals to choose from when developing your own recipe, so you can get really creative with the flavour profile of your gin!
The Hatchery Laboratory & Gin School
Crossbill Gin Distillery, Glasgow
We were impressed to see that none other than the New York Times had visited and praised this recently opened gin school, praising the “delicious” pineapple gin. Under the careful tutelage of the Crossbill Gin’s award-winning distiller, you and a friend will get to create and keep a 50cl bottle of your own design.
As a ‘pupil’ at the Blend Academy, run by the team at the Winchester Distillery in the heart of Winchester, you’ll study over 100 native and exotic roots, herbs, spices, fruits and flowers at the Blending Library, before using them to whip up your very own final project: a delicious bottle of gin. We don’t remember school being this fun?!
We’re ‘wild’ about this one. Escape to the gorgeous surrounds of the In the Welsh Wind Gin Distillery, which sits in wildflower meadows atop the hill in Tresaith, overlooking Cardigan Bay. The rustic, off-the-beaten-track vibe continues inside the venue, where you can spend two hours forgetting your desk job and get creative at the copper stills while inventing your own bespoke gin.
Since opening its doors in 2016, the 3-hour Gin Experience at the City of Manchester gin distillery has gone on to become the top-rated experience in TripAdvisor’s ‘Things to Do in Manchester’ category (at time of writing) - no mean feat in a city filled with hundreds of amazing experiences! Suitable for aficionados or beginners alike.
Adnams Make Your Own Gin
Bury St Edmunds, Southwold and Norwich
Adnams Copper House Dry Gin was awarded the prestigious trophy for best London Dry Gin at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2013 and now the team behind the winning gin is running masterclasses at three of its Gin Labs across East Anglia. As well as creating your own bottle of gin, you’ll also take a home a little goody bag!
Discover the environmentally-conscious ethos behind this Kent distillery’s award-winning gin, and find out how they use botanicals and flavours of the woods, orchards, fields and hedgerows that surround the distillery, before taking to the still yourself to create your own local, eco-friendly gin.