The year is 1730.
London is gripped by a fever.
There are over 7000 gin shops in the city, selling the average Londoner 14 gallons per year. Each. It got so bad that it took five separate acts of parliament over the following years to stop the flow. And so, for two centuries, no more gin was made in The City of London.
Because instead of a fever, The City now has a C.O.L.D. (the City Of London gin Distillery, that is), which has bought the juniper juice back to the old town in very classy fashion. The distillery itself is quite beautifully laid out, with wood walls & floors, industrially exposed lighting, and two glorious old school copper stills named Clarissa and Jennifer, which are all visible from the bar.
That bar is extremely handsome too, of course, with well-dressed barkeeps serving up the freshly brewed wares from behind a smart wooden countertop. You’ll find:
Obviously the big winner here is the gin & tonic, which they pride themselves on having nearly perfected (they’ll even make it with a competitor’s gin – but theirs have won dozens of awards, so…). You can also get a summer ale from a local microbrewery made with their gin botanicals, and – if you insist – some wine.
It’s all platters here, with selections of charcuterie, cheese and the like, prime for snacking on as you sip their award-winning hooch.
This is a distillery, so you can take a tour of the stills, get a lecture on the history of the spirit, and design and distill your own bottle in the gin lab in a teeny tiny copper still. Your wax-sealed bottle will even get its own personalized label.
NOTE: The City of London Distillery bar is open Mon-Sat, 2-11pm. Distillery tours, tastings, and experiences must be booked in advance, and you can do that right HERE.
City of London Distillery | 22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y 8DT
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