We’re heading towards summer in the city and that can only mean one thing – G&Ts in the sunshine (even if it means three layers of thermal clothing and fingerless gloves). We’ve rounded up some of the best gin festivals and events to celebrate London’s favourite spirit, so it’s ‘Sip Sip, Hooray!’ and copas at the ready.

Gin on the River, London

One of the more chilled options, this gin trip departs from the Lee and Stort Boat Company pontoon, next to the Olympic Stadium. (As you cross over the canal from Westfield Shopping Centre to the stadium side, look down to your right and you will see the Lee and Stort boats.)

Pack some snacks for a relaxing cruise around the Olympic Park, Hackney Wick and East London Canal network, while fellow gin-thusiasts talk you through 20ml samples of four different gins with a selection of mixers available. Pick your two favourites for full G&Ts in your keepsake glass as you sail serenely back to the hustle and bustle.

First event is 23rd April, see their website for more dates.

Location:
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Pontoon on the Canal

Tube: Stratford

The London Craft Gin Cruise

Another leisurely cruise option; this one is along the Thames through central London, with gin experts recounting its colourful history in the capital. Tickets include a souvenir glass and four serves of artisan gin, with the option to buy more via contactless payment on board. Craft beers are available as an alternative and there is also a food pairing Neal’s Yard cheeses designed to complement the botanical flavours of the gin for £5.00 per person (with vegan/veggie options).

Location:
Lambeth Pier, Albert Embankment

Tube: Westminster

People at Junipalooza London
That characteristic G&T grin | Photo by Junipalooza

Junipalooza

A ‘Meet the Maker’ festival with the chance to talk to over 60 distillers and brand owners as passionate about gin as you are, from international household names to small local craft gin makers. Unlike most festivals, there are no additional costs as far as the drinks go; your ticket price includes a souvenir glass which you use to try any of the 300+ gins on offer, either neat or as a G&T.

Found one you like? Spirits Kiosk will be on hand selling a selection of the featured gins by the bottle and your ticket includes a voucher for £5 off gin purchases (T&Cs apply). Also, to help keep you vertical, there will be an independent street food area and lounge in collaboration with Feast It.

Location:
Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane

Tube: Shadwell DLR

The Gin & Rum Festival

It’s party time at the Gin & Rum Festival, where hitting the dancefloor to live DJs is all part of the experience. Tickets include a Festival Guide, copa glass and satchel, talks and masterclasses. Buy tokens to exchange for drinks (a 35ml serve, complete with mixer and garnish) at the lively themed gin and rum bars and work your way around the free samples; in the unlikely event you have tokens left over, you can put their cash value towards purchases at the bottle shop.

Location:
St Mary’s Church, Marylebone

Tube: Edgeware Road

The Gin to my Tonic Festival

This UK festival is run in partnership with Fever-Tree mixers and showcases over 120 of the finest established and emerging craft gins and spirits. With free samples available from some of the exhibiting gin distilleries and full serves at a very gin-erous (sorry!) 35ml rather than the more usual 25ml, you’ll be able to put your tasting skills to the test – and maybe find a new favourite to take home.

Tickets include a Gin Explorer guide with tasting notes, gin copa glass, tote bag & pen and a stainless steel straw. The bar accepts cash or cards and operates on a token system; tokens cost £6 each and can be exchanged for a 35ml measure of gin, recommended mixer and garnish. Hot and cold food is available in the food court, with live music for that summer party vibe.

Friends who are not gin lovers? No problem – other spirits including vodka and rum are available for the unconverted.

Location:
Grand Junction, Rowington Close

Tube: Warwick Avenue

Written by:
BIO: Freelance writer, flâneuse and former blogger at London Girl About Town, Amanda is dedicated to sharing the latest on London's restaurants, bars, hidden quirks and general wonderfulness.
Filed under: Eating & Drinking
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