Gin has been the drink du jour for the past few years in London. Served in teacups, jam jars and other weird serving methods, it has been the drink of hipsters and yuppies alike. The craze has not escaped me either and as part of my pre pregnancy birthday celebrations, Wandermust Daddy booked a special evening at the City of London Distillery, or COLD as it otherwise abbreviated.
COLD was opened in 2012 and marked a 200 year absence of Gin distilling within London City limits where previously there had been over a thousand.
During the eighteenth century there was a period known as ‘the gin craze’. When there were gin shops littering virtually every street in London. Most famously, the craze for gin was portrayed in Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane . The print showed the dangers of drinking gin- suicide, madness and starvation being only a few of the consequences of gin drinking.
There isn’t a gin shop on every corner anymore but the London hasn’t lost it’s taste (hopefully not to the extent shown above) for gin and COLD is bringing back the gin distilling tradition to the City of London.
COLD is tucked away in a basement just off Fleet Street, just below St Bride’s Church in an unassuming building which could be easily missed. When you descent the stairs you are confronted with a large glass wall with the Gin Lab to one side. COLD organises tours of the Gin distillery for Groups where you can distill your own gin but also has a bar for you to enjoy gin tastings and an array of inventive cocktails at the other end of the basement.
The bar is filled with comfy leather armchairs and sofas where you can easily while a way a whole night. The cocktail menu is original and eclectic. Our groups favourites were Sunflower a combination of Gin, Elderflower and Absinthe and the Lionel Rich Tea served with a rich tea biscuit garnish. Perhaps the most inventive of all the cocktails on offer. For the less adventurous, you can have a simple G&T. The staff will guide you through the types of gin and find the best one to suit your palette. COLD is an experience not to be missed.