Drink Guides

Distilleries & Wineries

We know that London is bursting with breweries but we’re not just thirsty for beer in this city – just look at all the cocktail bars and wine bars that don’t even serve the stuff. Distilleries and wineries may not be as common in London as breweries are but there are a number of places producing spirits and vino right here in the capital. Yep people are actually making wine in London. Not only can you see how the goods get produced, you can drink them (almost) straight from the pot and barrel.

Gin has been popular in London for hundreds of years and after a long absence, new distilleries have returned to town. There’s the City of London Distillery, who whip up a dry and a sloe gin, a warm spiced Old Tom version and a premium (and award-winning) gin named after Christopher Wren; the East London Liquor Co, working in what used to be an old glue factory; and Sipsmith, one of the first gin distilleries to call London home during the new wave gin-naissance of the early noughties. But it’s not just mother’s ruin on offer, London even has its own sake distillery, Kanpai in Peckham.

We may not have space for vines and grapes here but we do have space for wineries – Renegade in Bethnal Green and Blackbook in Battersea both make use of railway arch space to create epic wines.


The Distillery isn’t just bloody good gin bar and the home to Portobello Road Gin, but it’s The Gin Hotel too and has some pretty cool rooms to crash in once you’ve drank ALL the gin. The Resting Room has 400L still suspended from the ceiling, and if that wasn’t enough gin there’s over 140 different gins in their on-site off-license, and you can even blend your own in their Ginstitute. Yes, that’s enough gin for anyone.


After taking a trip to Japan, husband and wife duo Tom and Lucy turned their spare bedroom into a sake brewery and later turned their home-brew hobby into a proper bricks and mortar brewery. Kanpai is London’s only sake brewery, producing this Japanese fermented bev for us thirsty Londoners. Pop down to Peckham to visit the taproom and sip on fresh sake, a rotating list of guest sakes from fellow brewers and other speciality Japanese brews. And opposite the brewery-taproom, you’ll find the Kanpai Kitchen hosting guest chef residencies.


The City of London Distillery brought gin distilling back to the area after a very long absence so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing when it comes to the booze. Not only do they whip up a dry and a sloe gin, they’ve got a warm spiced Old Tom version and a premium (and award-winning) gin named after Christopher Wren. You can go on tours of the distillery, have a go at making your own gin, or just drink at their bar whilst admiring their impressive copper stills.


Inside railway arches in Bethnal Green isn’t the first place you’d look for a winery but it’s where you’ll find one. Renegade is an urban winery that buys grapes from across the UK and Europe and turns them into wine right here in London. Their wines change year on year, depending on the grapes they get, and they rarely repeat a style, so every bottle (instantly recognisable thanks to their face labels) you drink from here really is special. You can buy bottles to take home but its best to pull up a chair inside, or grab one of the outside tables in the alley if it’s sunny, and crack them open right then and there.


Once an old glue factory and now a pretty hip East London distillery and bar, East London Liquor Company distill their own gin on site and you can try it straight from the horse’s mouth. And with cocktails based on their own London dry and premium batch, there’s lots to try and that canal-side terrace is the perfect spot for a sunny afternoon.


Sipsmith needs no introduction. It was one of the first gin distilleries to call London home during the new wave gin-naissance of the early noughties and their signature London Dry gin is a firm fave amongst anyone who loves getting boozy. The Sipsmith distillery out west in Chiswick is the place to soak up everything you need to know about their gin and how they make it, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to savour the spirit too.


Blackbook is an urban winery found under the railway arches in Battersea. These guys are all about making bloody good wine, sourcing their grapes from growers that are just hours away from the city. They focus on two varieties (chardonnay and pinot noir) but every now and then they’ll throw an experimental release into the mix – it all depends on what quality grapes they can get their hands on. You can take tours around their urban winery, treat yourself to a tasting experience where winemaker Sergio talks all things vino or just stock up on their pretty bottles.