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I’m Off To Britain To Sample The Gin


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Maxie Worth



Gin, the beloved juniper-based spirit, has a rich history that dates back centuries. Originating in the Netherlands, this versatile drink made its way to Britain and quickly became engrained in the country’s drinking culture. Today, Britain is renowned for its exceptional gin production, with distilleries scattered across the country, each offering a unique twist on this classic spirit.


As an avid food and travel enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the connection between cuisine and culture. Exploring different regions and experiencing their culinary delights has been a passion of mine for years. Recently, I decided to embark on a journey to Britain to delve into the world of gin, eager to sample the diverse flavors and experience the vibrant distillery scene firsthand.


My ultimate goal is to not only experience the exquisite taste of British gin but also to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate process of distillation and the stories behind each distillery. Join me as I journey through the picturesque landscapes of Britain, immersing myself in the world of gin and uncovering the hidden gems that this country has to offer.


British Gin: A Brief History

Gin has a rich and storied history in Britain, intertwining traditional distillation techniques with the country’s vibrant drinking culture. Its origins can be traced back to the 17th century, when Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius created a medicinal tonic called “Genever” using juniper berries. This unique concoction made its way to Britain during the Anglo-Dutch Wars, where it ultimately evolved into the gin we know and love today.


During the 18th century, gin consumption in Britain soared, leading to what became known as the “Gin Craze.” This period saw a proliferation of small distilleries and gin shops, with gin becoming the drink of choice for the working class. However, the excessive consumption of low-quality gin also led to social issues and a negative reputation for the spirit.


In the 19th century, the government implemented stricter regulations and quality control measures, leading to the development of London Dry Gin. This style of gin, characterized by its clean and crisp flavor profile, became an instant hit and remains a pillar of British gin production today.


In recent years, a gin resurgence has taken place in Britain. With the craft spirits movement gaining momentum, a new generation of distillers has emerged, each bringing their creativity and passion to the gin-making process. Today, there is an incredible array of gin styles and flavor profiles available, from traditional London Dry Gins to more innovative and experimental offerings.


Whether you prefer a classic gin and tonic or enjoy exploring new and unique flavor combinations, British gin offers something for everyone. With its rich history and diverse range of distilleries, Britain is truly a gin lover’s paradise.


My Excursion to Britain

Stepping off the plane in Britain, I could feel the excitement building within me as I embarked on my gin-filled adventure. Armed with a list of distilleries to visit and a thirst for knowledge, I was ready to immerse myself in the world of British gin.


My first stop was the bustling city of London, a hub for gin enthusiasts and home to some of the most renowned gin distilleries in the country. I made my way to the iconic Beefeater Distillery, where I was captivated by the sight of gleaming copper stills and the aroma of botanicals filling the air. The Beefeater Master Distiller guided me through the intricate gin-making process, sharing the secrets behind their signature London Dry Gin.


Next, I ventured to the picturesque Cotswolds, known for its charming villages and rolling hills. Here, I discovered the Cotswolds Distillery, nestled in the heart of the countryside. Surrounded by lush greenery, I witnessed the distillers handcrafting their gin using locally sourced botanicals. The unique flavors and craftsmanship of their gin left a lasting impression.


Continuing my journey, I made my way to the scenic Scottish Highlands, where I visited the award-winning Caorunn Distillery. Located in the speckled landscape of Balmenach, this distillery prides itself on hand-picking its botanicals from the surrounding region, resulting in a gin that truly captures the essence of Scotland.


As I traveled from distillery to distillery, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the passion and dedication of the gin makers I encountered. Each distillery had its own story to tell and a distinct style of gin to offer. From traditional distilleries rooted in history to innovative newcomers pushing the boundaries of gin production, Britain showcased a vibrant and diverse gin scene.


Alongside the distillery visits, I also had the opportunity to explore the gin bars and cocktail lounges that dotted the cities. Here, I indulged in expertly crafted gin cocktails, from classic concoctions to creative and modern twists. The mixologists showcased their skills, highlighting the versatility of British gin and its ability to elevate any cocktail experience.


My excursion to Britain was a whirlwind of flavors, sights, and stories. I left with a newfound appreciation for the craftsmanship and innovation that goes into creating this beloved spirit. British gin truly embodies the essence of its culture, and I am grateful to have experienced it firsthand.


The Gin Distilleries I Visited

During my journey through Britain, I had the pleasure of visiting several gin distilleries, each offering a unique glimpse into the world of gin production. From historic landmarks to hidden gems, these distilleries showcased the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating exceptional British gin.

  • Beefeater Distillery, London: Located in the heart of London, the Beefeater Distillery has a rich history dating back to 1863. Stepping into their distillery, I was transported back in time as I explored the Victorian-era stills and learned about their traditional distillation methods. The highlight of the visit was a guided tasting of their signature London Dry Gin, where I savored the balanced blend of botanicals that gave the gin its distinctive flavor.
  • Cotswolds Distillery, Cotswolds: Nestled in the picturesque Cotswolds region, this distillery epitomizes the spirit of artisanal craftsmanship. The knowledgeable staff walked me through the step-by-step process of their gin-making, from selecting the botanicals to hand-bottling the finished product. Tasting their gin was a revelation, with notes of lavender, citrus, and a hint of spice dancing harmoniously on my palate.
  • Caorunn Distillery, Scottish Highlands: Situated in the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, the Caorunn Distillery offers a truly captivating gin experience. Surrounded by heather-covered hills and pure water sources, the distillery embraces the spirit of its Scottish heritage. The highlight of my visit was witnessing the master distillers hand-picking the botanicals that would flavor their gin, ensuring a truly authentic and sensory experience.
  • Eden Mill Distillery, St. Andrews: Located in the charming town of St. Andrews, the Eden Mill Distillery combines the traditional elements of distillation with modern innovation. Their gin portfolio boasts a wide range of flavors, from citrus-infused gins to unique blends incorporating local botanicals. The distillery tour was a fascinating journey through their state-of-the-art facilities, giving me a glimpse into the future of gin production.
  • Adnams Copper House Distillery, Southwold: Set against the backdrop of the picturesque coastal town of Southwold, the Adnams Copper House Distillery exudes a sense of history and tradition. As one of the pioneers of the modern British distilling renaissance, they combine traditional copper pot stills with contemporary techniques. Their dedication to sustainability and locally sourced ingredients shone through in their distinct and flavorful gins.

Each distillery I visited had its own unique charm and story to tell. From exploring the historic roots of gin in London to immersing myself in the natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands, each distillery offered a deep dive into the world of British gin production. The passion and expertise of the distillers, along with the exceptional quality of their gins, left an indelible impression on me.


Tasting Notes and Reviews

As I ventured through the gin distilleries of Britain, I had the pleasure of sampling a wide range of gins, each with its own distinct flavors and characteristics. Here are some of my tasting notes and reviews of the gins I had the opportunity to try:

  1. Beefeater London Dry Gin
    The quintessential London Dry Gin, Beefeater embodies the classic gin flavor profile. With its crisp juniper notes, citrus undertones, and a subtle hint of spice, it offers a timeless and versatile drinking experience. Perfect for a traditional gin and tonic or a classic martini, Beefeater never disappoints.
  2. Cotswolds Dry Gin
    Cotswolds Distillery captured my taste buds with their Dry Gin. Bursting with floral fragrances and herbaceous notes, this gin showcases the essence of the English countryside. It is well-balanced, subtle, and leaves a delightful, lingering finish. Sipping this gin is like taking a walk through a blooming garden on a sunny summer day.
  3. Caorunn Scottish Gin
    Caorunn Gin is a true expression of its Scottish heritage. Infused with locally foraged botanicals, this gin offers a unique and complex flavor profile. Earthy and floral notes meld with a refreshing burst of citrus, creating a gin that captures the essence of the Scottish terroir. It is a truly captivating and evocative gin.
  4. Eden Mill Love Gin
    Love Gin from Eden Mill Distillery is a delightful and whimsical creation. Infused with exotic fruits, rose petals, and hibiscus, this gin delivers a burst of sweetness and a hint of floral elegance. It is a romantic and playful gin that transports you to a world of love and enchantment.
  5. Adnams Copper House Gin
    Adnams Copper House Gin is a testament to the craftsmanship and passion of the distillers. Smooth and well-balanced, this gin boasts notes of juniper, citrus, and a subtle hint of spice. The use of locally sourced botanicals shines through, adding depth and complexity to the overall flavor. A truly refined and enjoyable gin experience.

Each gin I tasted during my journey through Britain offered a unique and memorable experience. The craftsmanship, attention to detail, and quality ingredients evident in these gins showcased the incredible talent and innovation of British distillers. Whether you prefer a classic and timeless gin or a more adventurous and flavorsome option, British gins have something to satisfy every discerning palate.


Exploring Gin Cocktails in Britain

When it comes to gin, there is no shortage of creativity and innovation, especially when it comes to cocktails. During my time exploring Britain’s gin scene, I had the pleasure of indulging in a variety of gin cocktails that showcased the versatility and complexity of this beloved spirit.


One classic cocktail that stands the test of time is the Gin and Tonic. A refreshing blend of gin, tonic water, and a squeeze of citrus, this simple yet delightful concoction is a staple in any British bar. The combination of the botanical notes of the gin and the bitter sweetness of tonic water creates a harmonious balance that is hard to resist.


For those looking for a twist on tradition, the Negroni is a must-try. A concoction of equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, this cocktail provides a bittersweet symphony of flavors. The herbaceous undertones of the gin, the richness of the vermouth, and the vibrant bitterness of Campari all come together to create a sophisticated and complex cocktail.


Another gin cocktail that has gained popularity in recent years is the Bramble. A combination of gin, blackberry liqueur, lemon juice, and a drizzle of simple syrup, this cocktail is an ode to the sweetness of summer. The tartness of the blackberry pairs perfectly with the citrusy notes of the gin, creating a refreshing and vibrant drink that is as visually appealing as it is delicious.


For those who enjoy a touch of elegance, the Martini is a classic choice. Made with gin and dry vermouth, this cocktail is a symbol of sophistication. Whether you prefer it shaken or stirred, a well-made Martini showcases the complexity and smoothness of the gin, with a hint of herbal and citrus undertones from the vermouth.


As I explored the cocktail bars in Britain, I was pleasantly surprised by the imaginative and inventive gin cocktails on offer. Mixologists were pushing the boundaries, experimenting with unique flavor combinations and adding whimsical twists to classic recipes. From floral-infused gins to cocktails inspired by local ingredients, the cocktail menus were a testament to the creativity and passion of British bartenders.


Whether you prefer the timeless classics or crave an adventurous and innovative drink, the gin cocktail scene in Britain has something to satisfy every palate. Each sip tells a story, a unique expression of the distiller’s artistry and the mixologist’s creativity.



My excursion to Britain to explore the world of gin was an unforgettable experience. From the historic distilleries of London to the scenic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, each step of the journey revealed the passion and dedication that goes into creating exceptional British gin.


Throughout my travels, I had the pleasure of tasting a wide range of gins, each with its own unique flavor profile and story. From the classic and timeless London Dry Gins to the innovative and experimental offerings, British gin encompasses a world of diversity and creativity.


The distilleries I visited showcased the craftsmanship and attention to detail that defines British gin production. From handpicking botanicals to carefully distilling each batch, the gin makers demonstrated their commitment to creating spirits of the highest quality.


Exploring the gin cocktail scene in Britain was equally rewarding. From traditional classics to inventive and imaginative creations, the mixologists in British bars and lounges showcased the versatility of gin and their commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavor.


My journey through Britain’s gin landscape not only deepened my appreciation for this beloved spirit but also provided me with a greater understanding of the cultural and historical context in which it is produced. British gin is more than just a drink – it is a reflection of the heritage, craftsmanship, and innovation that are ingrained in the fabric of the country.


As I reflect on my time in Britain, I am grateful for the opportunity to have immersed myself in the world of gin. From the humble beginnings of the distillation process to the exquisite taste of the finished product, every step of the journey told a story and deepened my love for this timeless spirit.


Whether you’re a gin enthusiast or a curious traveler looking to delve into the world of spirits, I highly recommend embarking on your own gin-filled adventure in Britain. You will not only discover incredible flavors and unique distilleries but also gain a profound appreciation for the art and craft of British gin-making.