City of London Distillery COLD

An aide mémoire of a very fine event…..(received from Past Master, Mark Gubbins)


The last social event of the Master’s year was a sell out.  There was the anticipation – awaiting delivery of the gin, the temptation – gin received  with instruction (rather like Alice in Wonderland) “Do Not Open till 8th February). The preparation, pink grapefruit (a rarity in some parts of the Country), gorgeous Georgian tasting glasses….a sure sign that we were all going to get into the spirit of things!

Georgia Billing – General Manager at COLD,  our presenter.  A  Cambridge Science graduate with a PHD started bartending to fund her undergraduate degree in Archaeology, she lived in Argentina for a year and whilst there learned to make her first infused liqueur.   The rest is history she has won several  competitions and her mixology stills are second to none. This year she is one of the Judges at the London Spirit Competition.

Once we were sitting comfortable with our  (long)  City of London gin and tonic in our hand, we  learnt about the history behind the gin and some of the expressions  “Mother’s Ruin” – for many a mother it was.  “Blind Drunk” – as production was not regulated people did go blind

She introduced us to the botanicals used – juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root some sourced from the Med and others areas  further afield.

We started tasting – initially neat gin, then with a dash of water and then with tonic.
One of our members commented “it’s taken me years to work out it is tonic I don’t like not the gin!”

We gradually worked our way through the 5 gins, discovering our own favourite along the way – mine Christopher Wren, whilst going on a virtual tour of the Distillery –  and were introduced to the Stills –named after the Two Fat Ladies (TV chefs)  Jennifer is tall and straight and Clarissa  – helmet head  plus  Elizabeth which is the newest and  largest.   All have different capacities and are used for different gins.

Nothing gets wasted any alcohol left in the stills is used to produce hand sanitiser.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, Georgia, an excellent presenter, not only is she knowledgeable but personable and passionate.  She gave us a real insight into gin making.

Personally I can’t wait to get to COLD and try one of Georgia’s cocktails.   Judging by your emails I have a feeling I will probably spot some of you there…

“I think some events translate to Zoom better than others but this one certainly translated well and hit the spot.”

“A lovely presentation last night, and excellent gins – congratulations to all concerned.

Georgia was an accomplished host “

“What a brilliant evening ………we thoroughly enjoyed  ourselves and certainly made me want to get up to the City again ………”

“Well, that was a superb tasting and all before dinner!!! “….


Daphne Cave