Gin experiences are all the rage at the moment.
Whether it’s distillery tours, gin cruises, gin tours, make-your-own-gin events or even gin afternoon teas, you can’t move for gin in London. To be fair, the UK’s capital city has a long and complicated history with gin, so the fascination is mostly understandable.
Still, it’s a bit of a shame that gin’s beloved glass-mate tonic fails to get a look in. That’s especially surprising given that London is also home to Fever-Tree tonics, the world’s most popular luxury tonic water brand.
Perhaps in an effort to redress the balance, Fever-Tree has teamed up with Pernod Ricard for a series of summer masterclasses in London.
While the latter is probably best known for its whisky brands, it also represents a few gin brands too. Most notably Pernod Ricard is behind Beefeater’s, Plymouth Gin and, more recently, Monkey47.
The venue for these classes is the Royal Horseguards Hotel’s new Secret Herb Garden.
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Located next to Embankment Gardens on the north side of the river Thames, the venue is a closed-off area of the Royal Horseguards Hotel’s pre-existing restaurant patio. It’s an ideal location which is both airy and intimate, and the shade from the hotel itself ensures guests won’t be squinting.
What do the classes involve?
One of the major problems with many gin masterclasses is how busy they are. It’s not unusual to see twenty or more people crammed around a tiny bar. Thankfully, Fever-Tree and Pernod Ricard have taken the decision to limit guest numbers.
This means that the evening is an intimate, luxurious affair. The experts are talking to a table of people, rather than a whole room, allowing for a nice back-and-forth.
Guests will enjoy three gin & tonics over the course of the two and a half hour session. Prepared with Monkey47 and two varieties of Plymouth Gin respectively.
As cocktails are served, personable and knowledgeable Fever-Tree and Pernod Ricard experts explain the history of their respective drinks. While the history of gin and tonic is easy to look up with a quick Google search, what works well about these particular brands is that they have a rich history behind them.
Monkey47, for example, is based on a recipe discovered in an old bed and breakfast from centuries earlier. It passed about between businessmen for months. Eventually, one of them decided to set up a distillery that makes the spirit. Nowadays, Monkey47 is a 47% proof alcohol made with 47 botanicals, so it’s a real one off.
It’s details like this that set this masterclass apart from others.
And while Fever-Tree and Pernod Ricard bring the drinks, the Royal Horseguards provides a delightful selection of tapas. The dishes include scallops, a goat’s cheese salad, and a tiny lamb chop with mashed potatoes. The quality of the food matches that of the drinks and helps give the event a really upmarket feel.
Ultimately, the whole experience is a quality night out for gin and tonic enthusiasts. The great food and stunning location really help to set the experience apart from similar options.