In Gloucestershire, we are blessed to have a number of wonderful gin, and other alcohol brands dotted around the county. You could almost make a tour of it. Perhaps this is part of the reason I’ve grown such an affinity to gin over the past few years, and I was so excited to be invited to Sibling Distillery on the edge of Cheltenham to try out their gin tour. It was blooming fantastic – D was on dry January too, so not that I needed it, but I got double the fun!
Cicely and Clarice, 2 of the 4 siblings, ran the tour, and between them they had the perfect amount of wit and knowledge to keep us all hooked, it was awesome to take a look around the venue, and I definitely walked away feeling like I’d learnt a lot. Sibling is one of very few distilleries in the UK which not only makes gin, but create their own base spirit in the first place – a lot of companies buy in a neutral spirit.
Firstly we sat in the distillery, wrapped up in our coats (it’s cold in there!) for an introductory talk – in front of the machines where the alcohol is made. Cicely and Clarice talked us through how Sibling Distillery began, the branding of the product, and how they make and bottle their alcohol. This was a chance for us to ask questions, see some of the botanicals that go into the gin, and watch some of the equipment working. I won’t go into too much detail – you’ll have to go and see it for yourselves!
After this, we headed upstairs into the “tasting room” which was beautifully laid out with nibbles for us to tuck into. This part of the tour was split into a few different parts – we were served a gin & tonic to enjoy whilst the girls talked about the history of gin (it’s a pretty interesting history if you haven’t heard it). We had a little break, and were served another of their gins (we got to try a variety of different flavoured gins, and then mixed them with the tonics) – my favourite was the Strawberry & Black pepper gin, but I’m also a sucker for the classic Sibling gin with classic tonic. The best part of all was that it was unlimited, if we ran out of a drink, we were allowed more! Dreamy!
Next up was a pub quiz, where we worked in pairs to answer a variety of gin-based questions. The prize was well worth working for – we got to choose 2 Sibling Gin miniatures (yes – we won!!). This was a lot of fun, and I was very proud to get extremely close to the number of bottles of gin sold in the UK last year (I’m certainly not going to give it away!).
Towards the end of the tasting, we were able to have a general chat with Cicely and Clarice, and ask any questions we had. They were both so full of answers, passion and personality, and seeing how excited they got about the products meant it was one of the best tours I’ve been on.
The final part of the tour was a little browse around the shop – including 10% off the products, so naturally we walked away with a bottle of gin (the bottles are beautiful too!).
If you love gin, or find alcohol interesting, this is definitely a tour to get your hands on – but be warned, tickets sell out quickly! They happen approximately once a month, and are £25 per person, keep an eye on their website for upcoming dates.
I love supporting local businesses, and having only drunk their gin at Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival before, I will most certainly be buying bottles of Sibling in the future.
Thanks for a wonderful evening!