Do you know your juniper from your geneva? Is ‘gin o’clock’ scheduled firmly into your diary? Never mind the cider, the gin revolution has hit Bristol hard and, quite rightly, Bristol has gone bonkers for it, with an impressive three gin distilleries to its name, a gin Compounder and plenty of places to drink this splendid spirit. If you’re looking for a bit of gin-spiration, get the Bristol gin low down here…

6 O'clock Gin

Made in Thornbury by family-run business Bramley & Gage, 6 O’clock Gin stands out on shelves thanks to its Bristol-blue bottle. Gin lovers can book on to behind-the-scenes distillery tours to discover the copper still (affectionately known as Kathleen), learn the processes involved in making their original gin, special Brunel edition and fruit liqueurs. And of course tour-goers get to swig a sample or two! 2018 will see them team up with high quality ice cream producer Marshfield Farm to create a Gin and Tonic sorbet in celebration of the Farm’s 30th anniversary.

Bramley and gage gin

Psychopomp Micro-Distillery

Hidden in open view on St Michael’s Hill, small independent Psychopomp Micro-Distillery is a distillery-cum-speak-easy bar producing craft distilled gin in small batches and limited quantities. Every month they run themed ‘Distiller’s Table’ events which include a creative cocktail menu showcasing their gin in imaginative new ways, plus surprise extras. Be sure to line your stomach beforehand, there’s a lot of tasty booze! They can also teach you to distil your own gin and offer a full ‘Gin Experience’ with a distillery tour and tutored tastings. Because you can never have enough gin.

Psychopomp

The Rummer

An olde-world coaching inn in Bristol’s medieval Old City, The Rummer Hotel has an eye-popping collection of spirits, including boutique and craft spirits made in its very own micro-distillery housed in the cellars below. Now home to The Bristol Spirits Collective, from the depths of The Rummer come bottles of Bristol Dry Gins, vodka, rum and Aquavit – all available to try on the cocktail menu or buy and take away with you. Pop down on a Friday or Saturday for regular local gin tastings.

Espensen Spirit

This female-owned spirits business in Bristol is doing great things. Although not a distillery as such, they are a Compounder - which needs a specific licence of its own. As well as hand-making six different varieties of Bristol gin and vodka, they also have a bar/tap room where they serve cocktails, local beers, ciders and wines and host hugely popular events and food pop-ups. They also make donations to six small local charities from the sale of their bottles and support the Bristol community via fundraising at their bar and through special events. Catch them at a number of Bristol events over the summer – including a gin terrace at The Royal Naval Volunteer for The Harbourside Festival and Redfest.

The Milk Thistle

‘Flirty younger sister’ of hip prohibition bar, Hyde & Co., The Milk Thistle, serves some of the best tipples in the city. Housed over four floors in one of Bristol’s finest historic buildings, you’ll find leather chairs to sink into and delicious cocktail concoctions to imbibe within its atmospheric walls. Learn up on your favourite juniper-based spirit with their monthly gin clubs, featuring guest gins from all over the globe.

Milk thistle

Hyde & Co.

For gin with a hefty infusion of vintage decadence, head to Bristol’s original speak-easy, Hyde & Co. secreted away by The Triangle. Stepping inside this handsome hush-hush drinking den will transport you back to the roaring 20s, where mixologists whip up killer cocktails with a serious dose of prohibition glam. Line ‘em up bartender!

Cox and Baloney Tea Rooms

Scoff scrumptious afternoon tea by day and quaff gin and local cheese on a Friday night! This vintage-style tea room has got tea parties down to a (G&)Tea. Gin and cheese evenings include three flavours of their own tea-infused gin - lavender flower, forest berry and orange blossom, or spoil yourself further and tuck into teapot cocktails and home-made puddings on a Thursday night. What’s not to love?

Cox and Baloney GIN and cheese board

Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Get your gin on in the name of Queen and country at Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Behind the red phone box door of this popular bar lies many an inventive and highly quaffable cocktail. The drinks here are served like mini works of art from a British passport-themed menu - for a gin fix, try the Not-so-busy-B – inspired by Big Ben.

The Florist

Drink gin to your heart’s content at cocktail bar, The Florist on Park Street, or become a gin guru with a gin tasting masterclass from their expert botanists. Discover the origins and history of the spirit and learn to identify the unique flavours and botanicals in every bottle. Each 90 minute session is ideal for 6-12 people (tickets £25).

The Florist bristol

Broken Dock Kitchen & Bar

With one of the best spots on the Harbourside and fabulous views across the water to Brunel's SS Great Britain (get there early to grab your space on the wall), Broken Dock and its concise gin list will kick your evening off perfectly.  

Broken Dock

Bravas

If you like your gin accompanied by several sides of heavenly tapas then head to Bravas on Cotham Hill – an authentic tapas bar serving proper, Spanish measures of gin from their outstanding gin menu. Psychopomp recently finished a concocting a bespoke recipe in collaboration with the restaurant – known as ‘Gin Bravas’ with Mediterranean-style green olive, nora pepper and almond botanicals.

Racks Bar and Kitchen

Racks in Clifton run regular gin tasting masterclasses, helping you better understand your botanicals.  Great for groups, parties or a slightly different team building experience!

Frances Taylor photography

Wild Beer Co. Cargo

Wild Beer’s bar on Wapping Wharf is a great spot for hops enthusiasts, but gin fanatics will love it too thanks to their well-considered gin list. Psychopomp Micro-Distillery is a favourite with independents everywhere in Bristol and they’ve also created the Sleeping Lemons gin in collaboration with the Wild Beer Co. So sit back and treat your taste buds to the joys of juniper while overlooking Bristol’s Harbourside. Gin-tastic.

Green Man

This cosy characterful boozer in Kingsdown may not seem like the obvious choice for an evening of sinking several craft gins, but the pub has a whopping 100 gins to get your chops around.

Little Victories

Sister venue to Small Street Espresso, who make some of the finest speciality coffee in the city, Little Victories coffee house on Wapping Wharf does what comes naturally and merges two excellent beverages, coffee and gin. And who are we to argue when they blend so perfectly? Watch the world go by while sipping espresso martinis, cold brew negronis or a Psychopomp gin and tonic.

Pump House

The Pump House knows it gin. At last count, this waterside watering hole had over 600 varieties – the largest collection of gin in the south west. Up your gin game at one of their special events (the next, on 22 June 2018, is in collaboration with Guardian drinks writer, Fiona Beckett) or make it your life’s mission to work your way through their impressive gin list.

Pump house

Somerset House 

Anywhere that has a specialised Gin & Cocktail Dining Room is alright in our book. Somerset house offers more than 60 varieties of gin, elaborate gin tasting sessions and signature cocktails in the heart of Clifton Village.

Box-E

For the ultimate gin consuming experience, head to foodie favourite BoxE. Inside this intimate shipping container, Chef Elliott Lidstone whips up some of the most celebrated food in Bristol. He also uses the spent gin botanicals from Psychopomp (yep, them again) to cure fish and pair it with the gin. Gin-ius!  

Gin events:

Bristol Food Connections: SS Great Britain Lates: Gin Tasting (14 June)

If you thought Brunel’s SS Great Britain couldn’t get any better, think again. As part of Bristol Food Connections, visitors can explore this magnificent ship with gin and tonic in hand, followed by tutored tastings of Bramley & Gage’s full range of gins and fruit liqueurs. Sup special Brunel Edition gin as you delve below deck to discover where upper class Victorian passengers enjoyed their tipples in the First Class Dining Saloon.

ss great britain

Gin Celebration Launch: Free tasting event at Watershed (11 June - 19 Aug)

Watershed is hosting a six week gin celebration, kicking off with a free tasting event on 13 June. Tarquin’s Gin, Cruxland Gin (a delicious dry gin distilled with rare Kalahari truffles), Martin Miller's Original Gin, Hendrick's Gin, Silent Pool Gin and East London Liquor London Dry Gin (available for the launch only) will all be available at the tasting event for you to sample, complemented by the ever-delicious Fever-Tree. Pop-in between 5-6pm to try the gins,chat to suppliers, and be sure to bring your gin-loving friends! All the gins will then be available on the bar with 20% off for the rest of the evening and will be around for the rest of the summer celebration. Bottoms up!

Gin bus with Martin Millers Gin (7 July) and Pink gin bus with Pinkster Gin (16 June)

After a sell-out series of gin bus events last year, Foozie has teamed up with Martin Miller's Gin, Fentimans and Pinkster Gin to create a series of gin-tastic bus tours. Take in the sights of Bristol on a two-hour scenic trip around the city on a 1950s open-top bus while guzzling delectable gin and tonics! Non-alcohol alternative, Seedlip - the world’s first distilled zero-alcohol spirit that tastes fab in cocktails – will also be on offer. Tickets are £30 - £35 and include four gin and tonics.

Gin bus

World Gin day at Prince Street Social (9 June)

What's better than drinking gin? Drinking gin at a bargain price! On World Gin Day all double gin and tonics at Prince Street Social will be £7 with a Fevertree or Schwepps mixer.

The Great British Gin Festival at Tropicana (7 July)

The UK's biggest Gin Festival Tour will be stopping by Weston-super-Mare on 7 July. Expect talks and presentations from producers, cocktail demos from industry experts, a VR gin distillery, live entertainment and over 100 different gins from around Planet Earth. Tickets: £15.49 – £20.00.

Grand Pier Gin Festival (8 Sept)

Grab your passport and journey around the world in a variety of gins, from local specialities, to flavoured gins and craft batches. There’s a jam-packed schedule of masterclasses, talks and live music throughout the day, plus the chance to do some all-important sampling.

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A gin drinker's guide to Bristol - Visit Bristol

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