Gin lovers will love the new Henley Gin Experience which opened last week at The Henley Distillery.
Visitors are invited to come along and learn about the methods used to produce a traditional, hand-crafted gin from the ingredients, through the distilling process to the hand bottling as well as making your own bespoke gin.
The experience starts in a newly renovated Gin School barn with a large G&T of Henley Gin – Classic Dry which was recently crowned Country Winner award for Best London Dry Gin in England and Round One of The World Gin Awards 2022. Whilst enjoying your drink Master Distiller Jacob Wilson gives you a potted history of gin which includes the explanation behind the expressions of Dutch Courage and Mother’s Ruin and why there has been an explosion of Gin brands since 2009.
Afterwards, the tour takes you over to the distillery where the process of gin making is explained before you return to Gin School to make your very own bespoke gin under Jacob’s guidance. You are then each given a station with your own mini copper stills and weighing scales where you measure out your own botanicals from over 100 on the shelves including classic ingredients of juniper, coriander and Angelica root, or selecting something fruity, such as orange peel, rhubarb or yuzu. Jacob suggests adding between 7-14 different ingredients and you complete a recipe card with the amount of each ingredient. Our Editor chose dried raspberry, lime leaves, cinnamon, juniper and pink pepper.
Whilst the gins are distilling Jacob then invites you to enjoy a gin cocktail. The experience ends with the gin bottles being filled and guests completing their ingredients list on the personalised label. The distilling stills produce just over a full bottle, so you get time for one final G&T of your own bespoke gin before you depart. The Distillery keeps your recipe card so you can reorder your bespoke gin in the future.
With a maximum of 12 attendees per session, the Henley Gin Experience is perfect as a couples outing, a girly getaway or, for an indulgent treat, hire the school exclusively and take all your friends and family. There will also be wedding celebration packages, where wedding parties can create a special wedding gin to be enjoyed on the big day – with miniatures providing the perfect favour. The experience lasts between 2.5-3 hours.
The Henley Gin Experience costs £100 per person, including a tour and tasting, guidance and recipe development, a 70cl bottle of bespoke gin, 2 gin and tonics and a gin cocktail. For drivers in the group the G&T’s and cocktails will be replaced by soft drinks and 2 miniatures to take home. The experience is available each Saturday from 1pm.
For more details go to thehenleydistillery.co.uk/products/the-henley-gin-personal-distilling-experience