The Ginstitute Experience
Join us at The Ginstitute for an in-depth journey through the gin’s colourful and checkered past; from its creation by the Dutch, its journey across the sea with William of Orange, to Hogarth & his gin lane, finishing with the golden era of gin. Once sufficiently briefed, your Ginstructor will guide you through to one of our Blending Rooms to nose your way through an eclectic range of pure botanical distillates and choosing your favourites to create your own bespoke blend of gin. You’ll be lubricated by a multitude of our favourite gin cocktails along the way before leaving the session with a bottle of your own personal blend to take home and enjoy.
COVID-19 UPDATE - Reduced session times and capacities until further notice. Now taking bookings from 3rd September. Things to note when attending The Ginstitute sessions:
* Hand sanitser is supplied at every point of the experience for you to use as liberally as you like.
* Our staff are temperature checked.
* We are running less sessions with reduced capacity to allow for appropriate physical distancing and cleaning procedures to be carried out between sessions.
* The Ginstitute is held in a basement setting therefore there are no windows but the rooms are well ventilated.
* If you are feeling unwell please get in touch and we will happily rebook your session.
* We are unable to provide a cloakroom so please keep personal items to a minimum.
We have worked hard to ensure our team and guests are safe whilst ensuring the enjoyment of the experience is not compromised. For information on our updated procedures to comply with Covid-19 regulations, please see the step by step guide to the experience below.
5pm & 7pm
12pm · 2.30pm · 5pm & 7pm
Duration · 3hr
The Ginstitute Experience
1. Arrive at The Distillery
On the day of your visit to The Ginstitute please get yourself to The Distillery at No.186 Portobello Road at least 10 minutes before your session starts to ensure your party sits together. Enter through the door on Talbot Road and you’ll arrive into The Distillery shop. Announce yourself to our shopkeeper and use the supplied hand sanitiser. You’ll be directed downstairs into the History Room for the first half of the session.
2. Meet & Greet
Once all the guests have arrived downstairs you will be greeted by your Gin Instructor. Ginstitute attendee numbers have been reduced to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Each table will be supplied with a bottle of hand sanitiser. There will be a Tom Collins ready and waiting for you to enjoy and your host will then explain to the group the format of the next few hours, if you’ve read this you can just ignore them.
3. A History Lesson in Gin
For the first hour of your session the Gin Instructor will take you through the long, and frequently miserable, history of gin. From the drinks origins as a medicine through the gin craze which gripped Britain for 200 years and onto the Golden Era of gin as a cocktail ingredient and finally to how gin has taken its position in the modern world and the ‘ginaissance’ it is currently.
4. How Gin is Made
Once you’ve met King Henry, our illustrious 400L copper pot still and his diminutive roommate, Copernicus The Fourth (don’t ask about the other three), your gin instructor will explain to you the processes involved in creating gin and give a quick overview of the many rules and regulations which gin producers are obliged to abide.
5. Get to Know the Botanicals
Now it is time to get a little more hands on (in a covid-19 compliant way of course), and noses on as well, as you will be given a tutored tasting and nosing of the botanicals that are available to you, some will be familiar to you from the worlds of cuisine, perfume and confectionary, others less so. This is where you really get to understand the impact on your gin that the selection of these ingredients is going to have. Each guest will have their own personal box of botanicals, ensuring no sharing of any equipment or ingredients and perspex screens have been installed for physical distancing.
6. Craft Your Own Gin
Having made your selections, your Gin Instructor will now assist you in blending the various distilled botanicals together to create your completely unique recipe. A full bottle of this will be assembled which each guest of The Ginstitute is able to take home with them at the end of the night. This recipe is also recorded on our database which means that additional bottles can be purchased via the website at any point in the future.
Once each of the guests present has created and received their blend of gin you'll all be given one last cocktail, usually a Martini if you’re feeling up to it, and we’ll also present you with a bottle of our personal blend to take away, which of course went on to become Portobello Road Gin.