Making my own gin in a gorgeous converted barn while G&Ts and cocktails are handed to me throughout? Sounds horrendous, doesn’t it…
The Henley Distillery invited me along to their newly launched gin-making workshop, and I couldn’t recommend it more.
The experience starts off with a G&T, so I was already won over.
This was followed by a tour of the distillery by Jacob – the brains behind it all. I’ve been to a few gin tours and while they’ve all been great, Jacob’s knowledge and passion shone through like no other. You can tell he really knows his stuff and his passion is infectious.
The Henley Distillery is a business with family at the core. The incredible barn (dating back to 1776!) where the gin-making workshop takes place was made by Jacob’s dad Alan (along with a lot of other stuff), his mum Terri makes the syrup for one of the gins and the stills are even named after the grandparents. Family is something that Jacob is keen to ensure remains at the heart of the business, no matter how much it grows.
We were then led to the barn and tasted a few different gins while Jacob gave us a little history lesson on gin. The space is perfect – cosy and decorated with great taste. I can SO easily imagine spending an afternoon here on a hen do or for a birthday (both of which you can do!)
It was then time to make our own gin. Everyone gets their own gin-making station and Jacob gives really clear and easy-to-follow steps. There are so many flavours to choose from and you have ample time to think it over and get creative. Jacob is on-hand throughout to explain flavour combinations and help you decide, which was very useful for me as I’m so indecisive.
We were then all offered (gorgeous) cocktails while we waited for our gins to infuse and be ready.
Once your gin is ready, you can pour it into the lovely labelled bottle (you can even decide what to call your gin!) and the best bit is- there’s just the perfect amount left to take over to the bar and have a G&T with your freshly made gin. Another great addition is, that you note down the ingredients of your gin as you go, so if in the future you want to order a batch of your own gin (great present idea) you can get in touch with the distillery and they can make it happen.
I couldn’t recommend this experience more, and would 100% go back. Would make a perfect activity if you’re staying in Henley, but can also be done in a day (10 min cab ride from Reading station or even less from Henley station.)
The Henley Gin Experience – £100
Tour & Tasting- £15
The Henley Distillery
Hampstead Farm, Binfield Heath, Henley-on-Thames RG9 4LG
We visited as guests of The Henley Distillery, all views remain our own