Ever fancied creating your own gin? Now’s your chance. West London’s very own ‘Ginstitute’ has just opened up, and we popped along to brush up our expertise.
Proudly staking its claim as the second smallest museum in London (the first, we’re told, is Michael Faraday’s laboratory at The Royal Institution), The Ginstitute can be found on the first floor of The Portobello Star in Notting Hill. Boasting its own gin (Portobello Road No. 171) and a small scale replica of a Victorian gin palace bar, it’s also packed with a staggering selection of the spirit and cabinets full of gin-related artefacts.
One floor above The Ginstitute is The Still Room, where we joined a small group to take part in the ‘Gin Blending’ experience. Here, under the watchful eyes of Ginstitute director Jake Burger and in the shadow of London’s smallest working copper pot gin distillery, participants are given the chance to sample, taste and blend 25 different flavoured distillates (spirits) to create their own unique gin.
Once the concoctions are complete (and given the necessary stamp of approval), they are bottled up and a custom label is applied before they can be taken home. Should you want to order more of your very own gin in the future, recipes are stored on a database and extra bottles can be purchased for £39.
Admission to The Ginstitute is free between 2-6pm Tuesday to Saturday and 9-12.30pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. The ‘Gin Blending’ experience is by prior arrangement only and can be booked for groups up to 12 at £100 per person. For more information, visit portobellostarbar.co.uk/ginstitutelondon/