Published on September 21, 2022
The Ginstitute of creation and distillation.
The creators at Portobello Road have been passionate for over 10 years as they craft quality, premium spirits inspired by the long, rich history of gin. Nestled away on the top two floors of a 19th century public house on London’s world famous Portobello Road is The Ginstitute: London’s second-smallest museum and home to a 30L alembic still, Copernicus the Second.
Ged Feltham, Paul Lane and Jake Burger were passionate bar owners who had already opened many successful bars in Leeds. They decided to open a London bar balled the Portobello Star, then, being the gin nerds that they were, ripped the upstairs flat out and built a museum where gin lovers can learn the fascinating history of the spirit as well as making their own unique gin. The Ginstitute provides an experience to all fans of gin. In the nine months of experimentation that followed the opening, the character of Portobello Road gin was slowly created and was officially born Portobello Road No 171 Gin in 2011.
When deciding to produce the gin at a larger scale, they found a ninth generation distiller and former chairman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, Mr Charles Maxwell – a man whose family have been involved in distillation in London for over 300 years and the owner of The Thames Distillery in South West London.
The base spirit is distilled in England from English-grown wheat; however, the nine botanical ingredients come from around the world; these include juniper berries and orris from Tuscany, Spanish lemon peels, bitter orange peels from Haiti or Morocco, nutmeg from Indonesia and cassia bark from South East Asia.
Bottled at a punchy 42% ABV, these ingredients combine to create a uniquely versatile gin, with enough of those robust gin flavours like juniper, citrus and coriander to make a gin & tonic that tastes of gin not just of tonic, enough elegance to work in a Martini and because of the spices we use, enough depth of character and intensity to work in drinks like the Negroni or the multitude of modern cocktailian creations where it’s going to come up against other powerful flavours.
25ml Lemon juice
12.5ml Sugar syrup
20ml Egg white
Small sprig rosemary
Shake all of the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain in to a coupe glass.
Garnish with a rosemary sprig and pink peppercorn dust.
The palate has a generous slug of juniper, the mid palate has a sustained, fresh citrus character from our use of lemon, bitter orange and coriander, which then develops into a sweet peppery finish, achieved by the use of liquorice and nutmeg.
Bright and vibrant with a nice dry finish. A little less spicy in flavour than some of the other gins but still with that lingering nutmeg heat. That tint hit of salt leaves you wanting more and the green olive gives us a lingering sense of dryness.
A creamy, sweet vodka from Portobello Road distillery in London, made with British potatoes. Each bottle is made with almost three kilograms of potatoes and is made using both a continuous column still and a traditional copper pot still.
Made using vanilla flavour obtained only from Madagascan vanilla pods, which gives it a rich, multifaceted and layered vanilla flavour and aroma and a distinctive golden hue. Each bottle is distilled from almost three kilograms of British potatoes.
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About the author
Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine.