Advance booking only: Welcome to the Gin Library, with one of the largest private gin displays in the world, with over 400 bottles on display. But it didn’t always look like it does today.
The Story behind The Gin Library.
It started back in 2008 when I added a gin that was not from the UK. What started as a simple collection of gin, thanks to some extensive travel become a small collection of gin from around the world. Friends would swing by to taste the latest gin we had in, and our rooftop in Hong Kong made the perfect Saturday night place to be. As the gins grew in number the cookbooks were moved to the floor. After a while, the question was not how many more books I could move to make way for the gin, but rather where the next bottle could go.
After Mrs B found her books on the floor, a decision was made to move my gin, upstairs out of the way. She thought that this was a good idea… But by moving the gin collection to my study the unforeseen outcome was that with more shelves came more gin! The collection grew from 24 bottles to over 100. Before we knew it, the collection rose to over 200. Friends started to bring gins from their own countries and travels. I started to run gin masterclasses, using gins that people had brought to us and I started to experiment with new garnishes and tonics.
In 2017, we made the decision to leave Hong Kong and move to the Azores, and the collection grew once more. The Gin Library was going to be a proper business, and that meant we needed more gin. Bottles were purchased in Portugal and the UK, ready to be shipped to the Azores with the main collection from Hong Kong. The collection had now grown to over 300 bottles. Our idea was to create a gin lover’s paradise, created to be a place where you could enjoy the best gin and tonic selection in the world.
Once we moved in and unpacked the gin, the collection hit 400. And at the same time, I was told that the original library would need to become part of a guest bedroom. This had an additional upside as space was getting tight on the shelves so a plan began to move the gin collection yet again. We took the old garage and renovated this space into the Gin Library you can see today.
And here we are. The final version of the Gin Library, with almost 500 bottles and counting. This is one of the largest collections of gin in the world.
The library features gins collected from all over the world, from the UK, Germany, and France all the way to places such as South Africa, Australia and even Thailand. We’re very passionate about gin in all of its intriguing dimensions. From its past, with its rich and sometimes dark history, to the present, with the amazing array of botanicals being used to create a fantastic small batch and artisan gin and its future – which looks very interesting indeed as production gets more and more bespoke and complex.
To take part in a gin experience and see the library for yourself please click here.