The City of London Gin Distillery

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The City of London Distillery, also known as COLD, is one of the hottest new spots to visit in London this 2013. The distillery opened its doors in November of 2012, and is the first operational distillery within the city limits for over 200 years.

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The distillery’s owner, Jonathan Clark, has set up a venue where the story of gin can be told and where visitors can learn about the process – and of course, sample the products offered by Master Distiller Jamie Baxter. The bar and distillery is now producing its own brand of gin and vodka, and folks are arriving in droves to find out more.

Once upon a time, gin was the drink of the masses. In 18th century England, gin was cheap and free-flowing, thanks to the nearly 1700 distilleries scattered throughout London. So prevalent was gin in London’s social structure that William Hogarth created two works of art to show the unfortunate consequences of the liquor on the lower classes.

Fortunately for us, COLD is once again giving gin the respect it deserves. Using more than a little clever planning, the whole distillery has been installed in a basement on the historic Bride Lane. Tucked safely behind bomb proof glass, a set of hand-made German copper stills are lined up, gleaming brightly.

The distilling process purifies the base alcohol (brought in from elsewhere). The distilled alcohol may then be bottled as vodka or passed along for further processing. The copper in the stills acts as a catalyst which helps to remove some of the sulphides throughout the process.

To make gin, the distillery dilutes the alcohol to fifty percent ABV before it goes into the gin still. In the gin still, botanical elements are introduced to flavor the gin. Juniper berries give gin its distinct flavor and fragrance; however, other elements like coriander, angelica and licorice may also be included.

Once the product has gone through final distillation, guests can sit behind the bar and watch the gin and vodka being bottled. And of course, whatever is produced in the distillery can be sampled at the bar.

True gin connoisseurs may be interested to learn that the distillery also offers a tutored gin tasting on their bar menu. If you’ve got the fortitude for the tutored “gin flight”, you’ll have a chance to sample the various styles of gin produced through the ages, including Old Tom and Genever – and you may even get some interesting historical tidbits thrown in for good measure. If you’re not up for the gin tasting, you’ll still find that the bartenders whip up some brilliant concoctions from the 90 varieties of gin offered daily.

This is a spot full of character and creativity, and we anticipate great things on the horizon for this up and coming distillery. City of London Distillery’s staff says that they plan to experiment with all sorts of flavors in their gins and vodkas, so we think it’s a grand idea to check back often to see what’s new and different.

Here you’ve got a very nice opportunity to sample the very best Gin and Vodka in a very stylish and unique place. Tours cost £8 per person and no booking in advance is required. For more information regarding opening hours and events, click on the following link:


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