If you like artisan gin then you'll love the Spirit of Harrogate, as Catherine Scott discovers

Gin gin everywhere – well that’s what it felt like during my recent visit to the Spirit of Harrogate gin experience.

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I pride myself on a being a bit of gin connoisseur. We have a selection of artisan gins at home and so I wasn’t expecting to learn a great deal when we booked a trip to the home of Harrogate’s Slingsby gin. But I was mistaken. The shop and tasting rooms are on Montpellier Parade, just down from Betty’s tea room.


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The shop is like an old fashioned apothecaries with interesting looking jars full of different flavoured gins I am reliably informed. Then there are the tonics. If you thought tonic water was tonic water you’d be wrong. The Spirit of Harrogate has more than 30 tonics on sale, some as expensive as a supermarket bottle of gin.

The brand may have been launched with the eye catching blue bottled Slingsby Artisan London Dry gin, but the big seller at the moment is the Slingsby Rhubarb Gin – and I can see why.

photo 1We started our two and half hour gin experience with a bellini made with said rhubarb gin and pink prosecco. While I loved it some of our party found it a tad dry which was more down to the prosecco than the gin. Next we had the rhubarb gin with tonic and it was an entirely different kettle of fish and most delicious.

Through much merriment our host for the afternoon was mixologist Alex who was impressive with his knowledge of the history of gin and his patience at gigging 40 something women.

The history lesson was accompanied by a variety of gins from the old style Genever to the Victorian era Old Tom gin. To finish off the session, Alex showed  how to make a couple of cocktails using Slingsby gin which was hilarious and extremely tasty.

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Mixologist Alex Hanson

Half of Slingsby’s 24 botanicals have been grown in Harrogate’s Rudding Park Hotel Kitchen garden and each has been selected to reflect the beautiful and restorative nature of Harrogate.

Key ingredients include Yorkshire rhubarb, Green and Jasmine Tea from Taylors of Harrogate and medicinal plants from Rudding Park such as Sweet Cicely, Primrose and Thyme; all lovingly and expertly combined with spring water from Harrogate’s world famous aquifer and pure single grain spirit.

Spirit of Harrogate offers Slingsby Gin Experiences for up to 16 private, pre-booked guests, to include canapes and specially developed Slingsby Signature cocktails, created by Spirit of Harrogate’s hand-picked team.

The sessions lasted for two and a half hours and included canapés supplied by Wild restaurant in Harrogate and even my coeliac friend was well catered for.

At £40 and a minimum of ten people the experience isn’t cheap but it is memorable, well most of it!

Spirit of Harrogate is located on 5-7 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate.


About The Author

Catherine Scott is Associate Features Editor for Yorkshire Post Newspapers. A self-confessed foodie, she is also a judge of the Deliciousyorkshire/Yorkshire Post Taste Awards.

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