I had the pleasure to visit the Ginstitute in London recently. It was a Saturday which means market day down Portobello Road. It’s been quite some time since I last saw so many thousands of people one on street and making my way to # 186 Portobello Road took some doing weaving through the lines of tourists.
The Masterclass began with a presentation on the history of gin and follows quite closely to my Gin Experience classes. I did find more G T’s and cocktails than mine however, we didn’t have the opportunity to nose and taste the gin neat. Not a problem in this instance, since they would of course be pouring exclusively their very own Portobello Road, which is so versatile with any cocktail. This gin has become very popular in Nova Scotia.
Part two of the class was creating your own gin and this is was the highlight of my visit. I had no idea how one could blend their own gin in such a small amount of time.
They distill batches of the four base botanicals that should be in all gins and predominately junipers along with Coriander, Angelica Root and Orris Root.
They have 24 more botanicals to choose from which are broken up into categories. Citrus, Spice, Floral and Herbs.
The amazing part here is all 24 have been distilled separately to 52 ABV and you nose and taste each one and decide on your favorites to be added to the four base botanicals. A hard job, but someone has to do it!
I had gone with a recipe in mind, which we all decided on from the Gin Experience classes. However, the choice and surprising taste of this wide variety of botanicals made me change my mind quite often through the process. In the end I had my bottle and the group all got to sample. To be honest, I think it’s the nicest gin on the planet and my recipe is a secret. LOL.
I will say its quite traditional, while there is an unusual element of citrus, the spices give a hint of Turkish Delight on the back of the palate and there is a soft floral nose. Finally, something very Yorkshire shines through on the mid and back of the palate.
I highly recommend you make a visit next time you are in London and of course book my gin tour in September, which includes this remarkable gin experience.