Whistling SHop

Did someone say gin o’clock? Raise your glasses to Her Majesty’s 60 year reign by toasting the four-day weekend with her favourite spirit. The Cocktail Lovers (@cocktaillovers) give their five top tips for gin-loving Londoners…

Take a tour of Sipsmith Distillery
They say ‘tour’ but really these twice monthly events won’t notch up many digits on your pedometer – think of them as friendly open evenings instead. Housed in an unassuming residential street in Hammersmith, this is one of the smallest distilleries around and the first in London for over 200 years. Take a peek at Prudence, the sexy copper pot still, get the lowdown on how she works and have a sip (or several) of the gin she produces. 
Tours £12, every first and third Wednesday of the month, see sipsmith.com

Sip a molecular cocktail in a modern spin on an old-fashioned gin palace
Those Victorians loved their gin, which is why they created the gin palace. These days Londoners are equally fascinated with the stuff, which is why the Fluid Movement team have created the Worship Street Whistling Shop. Like the original models, it’s all dark wood fixtures and fittings on the décor front while the cocktails on the menu are bang-up-to-date. 
 Worship Street Whistling Shop listing.

Sign up for the Juniper Society
As Graphic bar houses an extensive selection of gins – 120 or so at the last count – it’s the ideal place to geek out on all things junipery. No wonder it’s home to the Juniper Society. Set up by Sarah Mitchell in 2010, the bi-monthly informal gatherings are free and take in talks and tastings from gin brands with a complimentary drink (usually a G&T) on arrival. 
Call 020 7287 9241 for details or see junipersociety.com.

Blend your own gin at The Ginstitute
Have fun creating your own batch of gin in the Ginstitute upstairs at Portobello Star. Ginterns get an expertly mixed Martini, tour of the museum and a gin-making class and leave with a full-sized bottle of recently launched Portobello Road gin, plus another of their own creation. All recipes are kept on file, so if you’ve blended a winning creation, you can have it recreated for your sipping pleasure at any time. 
£100 per person
. See Portobello Star listing.

Spritz yourself with the juniper spirit
Reeking of alcohol isn’t big or clever, but wafting around in a haze of Juniper Sling is another matter entirely. Inspired by London dry gin and created from a heady mix of juniper berries, cardamom, orris wood, brown sugar and black cherry, this unisex fragrance will no doubt be dabbed on royal pulse points this weekend as its creators, Penhaligon’s, are suppliers to Her Majesty the Queen. 
See penhaligons.com.

This article by The Cocktail Lovers first appeared in Time Out 1 June 2012

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