Summer has officially arrived and what better way to celebrate than with a masterclass in gin? Hotham’s Leeds Gin School and Distillery burst onto the scene in March this year, hot on the heels of their award-winning Hull venue. Sadly, the pandemic forced them to close down temporarily, but now they’re back and better than ever.
Residing in the space formerly occupied by The Cat’s Pyjamas on Eastgate, the ultra-modern venue is in a prime location opposite Victoria Gate Shopping Centre. The gin school re-opened on Saturday 18 July, when pre-booked guests were greeted with a signature Hotham’s G&T before embarking on a unique journey through the distillation process.
As well as in-depth insight into the botanicals used to create the iconic spirit, students can put their newfound knowledge to the test by crafting their very own litre bottle of artisan gin. The school makes for a memorable corporate event or birthday treat and can cater to both small and large groups.
The open plan design and generous size of Hotham’s allows plenty of room for social distancing, whilst extra precaution has been taken to ensure the venue is kept sparkling clean at all times. And for those who want to just sit back and relax, the Distillery Bar offers one of the finest selections of Yorkshire ales, ciders and creative cocktails in the county.
The re-launch coincides with the release of Hotham’s Leeds Dry Gin, which is distilled on-site in micro-batches of no more than 50. Produced by hand in traditional copper alembic stills, the gin blends lime, basil and ginger with juniper berries and coriander seeds, resulting in a fragrant tipple that’s hard to resist.
Customer demand for Hotham’s refined gin creations has led them to offer a new gin subscription service, allowing members to receive a limited edition bottle each month. The service includes free delivery and will launch with Hotham’s Summer Edition – a citrusy blend that perfectly encapsulates the sunshine season.
Expertly crafted gins
Hotham’s have just this month celebrated their second birthday, having launched their Hull Gin School back in July 2018. The brand enjoyed almost immediate success, thrilling both locals and critics alike with their expertly crafted gins and vodkas.
The awards came thick and fast for the boutique distillery, kicking off with the local Food and Drink Awards, where they walked away with the Yorkshire Drink Award for their Hotham’s Cardamom Gin. This was closely followed with a Silver Medal at the 2019 International Wine and Spirit Competition, and four wins at the White Rose Awards 2019.
Ultimate seal of approval
The White Rose awards included Gold for ‘Yorkshire Experience of the Year’, two silvers for ‘New Tourism Business’ and ‘Small Visitor Attraction’ and bronze for the ‘Producer and Makers Award.’ The icing on the cake for Hotham’s came just a few weeks ago in early July, when they bagged two awards at the prestigious London Spirits Competition.
Considered as the ultimate seal of approval within the global spirits company, each nominee is carefully selected based on quality, packaging and value. Hotham’s Dry Leeds Gin took home the bronze award, whilst Hotham’s Cardamom took silver.
Co-founders Emma Kinton and Simon Pownall had this to say ahead of the Hotham’s Leeds reopening:
‘’Lockdown has been a tough time for everyone, however, we’re excited to pick things up where we left off. Hotham’s Distillery Bar and Leeds Gin School looks amazing and is all geared up to offer visitors a memorable experience that’s fun, informative and above all, safe.’’
‘’Customers can also drop just for drinks now too, and we’ve handpicked an unrivalled selection of Yorkshire beers, ciders and locally-produced spirits to please even the most discerning taste palate. We can’t wait to welcome the people of Leeds back and have ambitions to add even more awards to our mantelpiece going forward. We hope to see you at the bar for a G&T soon.’’
Hotham’s Gin School & Distillery Leeds, LS2 7LY.