If you’re looking for an informative and fun evening with some alcohol involved look no further than Haymans gin distillery. They will be hosting distillery tours, cocktail masterclasses, and an exciting Ginema experience throughout May.
We attended a distillery tour where we sampled three gins as well as learning the history of gin and particularly of Haymans gin. Haymans gin was founded in 1863 and is still family operated. The current owner is fourth generation. Distilled at different sites in the UK including Chelsea and Essex, now Haymans is back home in London after a two year search.
We enjoyed a refreshing glass of Hayman’s London Dry gin while looking over the distillery and learning the above history. This classic is served with lemon peel with the Hayman name printed on it. This True English gin is hand distilled over two days to a 150 year-old family recipe.
The distillery in vibrant Balham is an open plan that feels like a comfortable home environment. On the ground floor are the three stills with a table seating over 10, and a ‘library’ with lounges that acts as the shop. On an upper floor overlooking all of this is a bar. The interior decorating is simply superb.
After this gin and tonic, we go through a botanicals masterclass and a super taster test. Sam, a master distiller, explained that juniper, coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon bark are used in their gins as botanicals while Orris root and Angelica are binding agents, meaning they fix all the aromas and the flavours ensuring we have lovely tasting True English gins. One of the stills, Marjorie, produces 1000 cases of six a week and is operated twice a week. Another sill, Karen operates once a week.
We also sampled True English Old Tom gin which is a rich, round and bold style. We loved it so much we just had to buy some! But we also fell in love with True English Sloe gin made from Sloe berries for a rich, fruity flavour. So what were we meant to do? Buy it as well of course so we could continue our tasting at home.
On the cocktail master classes, guests are taken on a behind the scenes look into how the family use the age-old recipe and distilling process to create their famous True English Gins. Guests also have the opportunity to get behind the bar to make their choice of three cocktails. The cocktail masterclasses are currently available at 7pm on 10th and 31st May. They cost £35 per person.
For something a little different, Haymans will be turning their distillery into a gin-themed pop-up cinema for the May Bank Holiday weekend. Over five evenings, five films will be shown. For £35 per person, guests will receive a welcome True English gin and tonic at 7pm, two gin cocktails themed around the film, London Dry gin popcorn and a £5 voucher towards a tour of the distillery.
The films and dates are:
Thursday 24th May – Casablanca
Friday 25th May – The Great Gatsby
Saturday 26th May –The Hangover
Sunday 27th May – Cocktail
Monday 28th May – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
All films commence at 19:30. Gin lovers would be wise to reserve their spots at this limited seated pop-up.
Tickets for both the masterclass and cinema experience can be booked through Hayman’s website. Tours are only £20.00!
8a Weir Road,
Written by Caitlin Neal