A Distillery tour
There are many perks to working at the Gallery Bar in Ace Hotel but being able to go to various distillery tours and trainings, as a cocktail lover, has to be my favorite.
First off, getting to the Bombay Sapphire distillery is relatively easy. It’s located right outside of London and is easy to get to by train and bus. We took a quick train from Waterloo station and after that a 10-minute taxi-drive got us to our location. Secondly, the tickets are very affordable. You can visit the distillery for £15, a guided experience starts at £22.
Traveling with a bunch of bartenders makes for great entertainment seeing as we were treated to some bloody mary’s while on the train. Good morning ? More like a bloody good morning ! Fun fact, a bloody mary with gin is called a Red Snapper.
It was a beautiful and sunny day which only enhanced the location of the distillery, with its lovely greenery and stunning greenhouse as well. I’m not going to bore you with the ins and outs of the workings of a Gin Distillery but rather walk you through the experience and why you should go and see it for yourself.
You get a bit of history of the location and how it used to be run and how it is now evolved into this modern, yet classic distillery house. The first thing you’ll notice outside is the breathtaking greenhouse that houses all 10 of their botanicals. After taking all of that in, you move inside where you’re able to smell and taste and fully experience all 10 of those botanicals and ingredients. Lemon peel and Cassia were my favorites.
It’s always impressive to see the stills and walk through the inner workings of a distillery, it’s very intimate and you learn so much. You even get to taste a bit of the product during distillation, at 80% proof it’s super overwhelming but it helps to learn where the spirit comes from. After all that, you get to have a bit of fun. We got treated to a small array of charcuteries and sweets for lunch with a very nice ginger, lime and mint based Gin cocktail of course ! We were also lucky enough to have a quick chat and ask some questions to the Master of Botanicals, Ivano Tonutti, who happened to be in the country and was very willing to see us.
All in all, it was a very fun experience and I’d recommend going during summer if you have the chance. You know, one of those illusive 5 days where the sun comes out in London. Either way, you’re sure to have a blast especially with the friendly tour guides that are not shy of a joke or two.
Cheers and much love, l.