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MV Discoveries | The Gin Journey

MV Discoveries
The Gin Journey

Here at Mint Velvet, we’re partial to a bit of gin, and with this juniper infused spirit making somewhat of a revival we were first in line to do some tasting. With a variety of tours appearing in an attempt to satisfy curious taste buds nationwide, there is something for everyone. Combine this fashionable drink with quirky historical facts worthy of any dinner party conversation, the discovery of cool new venues, and exceptional hosts who know, live and breathe their passion, and you end up on The Gin Journey.

Having just launched his one off pop up tour in Sydney, we caught up with Leon ‘The Gin Boss’ Dalloway, award winning mixologist and The Gin Journey founder to talk about the ethos behind his company, the latest staple ingredient in gin based cocktails and what the future holds for the tour, Ginuary onwards.


Gin Journey 1


Running in London (Shoreditch, Bermondsey, Notting Hill), Manchester and Liverpool, the award winning tour strives to bring a classic approach to a traditional subject.

“With us, we pride ourselves on bringing all the elements of the tour together. We’re not reading from a script; we’ve combined the fun element to offer a history lesson with a twist”

Boasting an impressive fifth place in London’s night life ranking on Trip Advisor, this award winning tour takes you on a whirlwind adventure visiting 5 popular gin bars (including a distillery*), complete with samples and 5 gin based cocktails. Each of the London tours visit different bars in different pockets of the city, the logic being that on each tour you are exposed to different venues and types of gin.


Gin Journey 2


Little tip: ensure you brush up on basic gin knowledge before you attend – if not only to impress The Gin Boss himself, but to embrace your competitive streak…we shall spoil no more.

Commonly associated with London, Leon informs us that the famously fashionable tonic companion was originally from Holland – Britain actually discovered it in the 17th century while fighting the Dutch War of Independence, and brought the spirit back with them.


Gin Cocktails


The Imbibe UK Innovator of the Year 2017 winner also filled us in on some interesting additions that bars make to gin cocktails that you can even try at home – such as vinegar!  “I love a Gibson Martini with pickled onion, salt and onion brine. You would usually associate vinegar with red wine, or even chips, but bartenders use it to balance out the sweetness, just like citrus.”

Due to its enormous success in the UK, it is really clear to see why the first pop up tour down under in December was so popular.  “Sydney was incredible – gin and tonic is starting to boom out there now so I was really pleased with how it went down – the tour actually sold out!”

So, what does the future hold for The Gin Journey?  “Watch this space!” laughs Leon. With the launch of the tours in Leeds and Newcastle in SS18, global expansion is definitely on the cards.

Mint Velvet’s Top 5 Tips:

  1. Chill your glass in the fridge beforehand and fill it up to the top with ice, as it will actually melt slower and keep your drink fresh.
  2. Tonic is a great mixer, but what about trying something a little different, such as ginger ale?
  3. Be delicate with your drink, as over stirring can affect the botanicals in your gin
  4. Garnish is important, but don’t let it overshadow your drink. Whether it’s a dusting of black pepper, or a simple lemon wedge, less is definitely more.
  5. A balloon shaped glass is great for flavour appreciation – bubbles carry lots of the aroma, so if the glass has a large surface area the fragrant scent is very prominent.

To find out more about this top rated tour and book your place on this must-do, check out their Instagram page and website for more information.

Alternatively, The East London Liquor Company, The Ginstitute at The Distillery and Sipsmith Distillery also offer excellent tours, and are highly recommended as a way to improve your spirit knowledge.

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