Gin tasting: holidays to excite your palate

Our luxury gin tours will take you on a journey to some of the most exclusive distilleries in the industry, giving you special insight into the world of gin making.

Join Wine Paths on a gin-making tour to experience one of Europe’s finest spirits. Dating back centuries, this time-honoured drink is now undergoing a remarkable revival. In the midst of the ‘ginaissance’, distillery numbers boom across the continent. And there are so many fantastic new gins – from fruit flavoured to dry – to discover while on tour with us.

Although consumed everywhere around the world, some countries such as England or Scotland, are undergoing huge growth in the industry. The gin craze shows no sign of slowing down, leading to the industry getting more creative with flavours, making it the perfect time to explore the different gin varieties on one of our luxury tours.

Learn about the history of gin making

The Dutch started producing ‘genever’ in the 1600s and during this time there were hundreds of distilleries in the capital alone. But it’s very likely that this spirit dates back even further, with potential references to genever flavoured alcohol being drunk in the Middle Ages.

Originally produced for medicinal purposes, genever was believed to cure a number of illnesses. It was later given to British soldiers fighting on Dutch land, and this was where the term “Dutch courage” came from. The popularity stretched across the English Channel and by the late 17th Century, what we know as ‘gin’ had been developed by the English and quickly became a British staple. Our tours will journey you to some of the most significant locations in the UK, including historic distilleries and some of the more popular craft gin distilleries that are challenging the market.

Made with approximately 40% alcohol by volume or greater, gin is distilled from grain and primarily flavoured with juniper berries. These berries are tart and bitter and are often compared to pine or citrus. But today, the flavour profiles extend far beyond classic juniper, with artisan gin makers popping up across Europe and experimenting with various fruits, herbs, flowers and ingredients. There’s no better time to join Wine Paths on an exclusive tour, and the flavour options will truly astound you.

Where to find the best gin distilleries

Although inspired by the medicines of Holland, Britain is the beating heart of the global gin industry. There are amazing gin makers located across the UK, and the varieties of gin are vast, making tastings all the more interesting. Many people start off with the classic London Dry, such as Tanqueray or there's the classic London Dry, such as Tanqueray or Sipsmith.

There’s also the very famous Plymouth Gin, which is less dry due to a higher proportion of root ingredients added for an earthier taste. Old Tom Gin is much sweeter than normal gin and can be found in many distilleries in Scotland. When it comes to craft gin and experimental gin, London offers some of the best tours and tasting experiences around.

Other countries where gin production is on the increase are Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Canada and the United States. Surprisingly, India and The Philippines also have very large gin markets, showing that this very British spirit is growing in popularity around the world. But if you want access to the finest distilleries, with expert-led tasting experiences, we recommend booking one of our gin tours to the UK.

Join us on a luxury gin tour in the UK

There’s so much demand for British gin right now, making it the perfect time to book a tasting holiday. Internationally, every three out of four bottles of gin imported in the world comes from Britain. Not only do our tasting holidays give you access to the finest distilleries where you’ll meet expert distillers and industry leaders, but you’ll also get to take in the rich and fascinating history of this unique island nation.

Great Britain is also home to some of the best Michelin Star restaurants in Europe, with the biggest concentration of esteemed chefs in the capital and surrounding cities. You can delve into the magical world of gin flavours and gastronomy, with perfect food pairings, tasting menus and authentic dishes made from local ingredients. For gin and fine dining fans, it doesn’t get much better than our luxury gin tours.

Interesting facts about gin

Gin is one of the most popular spirits in the world, but it still remains a mystery to many. Here are some interesting facts:

  • The name “gin” is a shortened form of the older English word “genever”, which is related to the Dutch word “jenever” and the French word “genièvre”. All of these name variations come from the Latin word “juniperus” for juniper.
  • There are several methods of producing gin, which gives the spirit group such great variety. For instance, London Dry gin gets it juniper flavour from neutral spirits and is re-distilled with natural flavouring ingredients such as botanicals. Compound Gin, on the other hand, is made by adding flavouring substances to a neutral spirit with no re-distillation. The first-ever style is the Dutch Genever style, which starts with a malted grain mash (like whiskey) with a process that is similar to barrel-ageing. English gins overall use much quicker methods, with some gins taking no longer than one day.
  • There are many ways to enjoy gin in the UK, including with ice and tonic and various ingredients ranging from lemon and lime to cucumber slices and herbs such as rosemary. Gin is also one of the most popular spirits for cocktails.

 

FAQs

Is gin only a summer drink?

Gin may have historically developed a reputation as being a summer beverage, but gin is now becoming a drinks cabinet staple that delights all year round. There are many winter gins that can be combined in cocktails. So there’s no bad time to enjoy a gin tour in the UK.

What are the most popular gin brands in the world?

The most popular gin brands include Tanqueray, Beefeater London Dry Gin, Hendrick’s Gin, Gordon’s, Plymouth Gin, Bombay Sapphire, Martin Miller's and Aviation Gin. But this barely scratches the surface of the industry. There are thousands of brands across the UK and Europe, including delightful craft gins of every style and flavor.

How does gin tasting compare to vodka tasting?

The diversity of gin far outweighs that of vodka and other spirits. Each bottle of gin is truly unique, making tasting tours an exciting adventure on the palate. The array of flavors and botanicals used in gin production means drinkers will never get bored, and everyone will have a chance to discover their favorite.

Book a tailor-made package with our local experts

Why book with Wine Paths?