Pickering’s Gin Distillery Tour – Summerhall, Edinburgh

The more I learn about gin, the more I love it.

Having recently taken a tour of Pickering’s Gin Distillery, our passion for Mother’s Milk has risen like a slice of grapefruit in a P&T.

“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin then waving it in the general direction of Italy.”
     – Noel Coward

Pickering’s Gin is hand-crafted at Summerhall Distillery and is the first exclusive gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years. You can find the distillery in the heart of Edinburgh’s creative hub, and former Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, Summerhall.

Pickerings Gin Edinburgh Distillery

The multi-award winning gin is based on an original Bombay recipe, and comes in three gin-tastic varieties:

Pickering’s Gin

Pickering’s Gin

Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin

Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin

Pickering’s Original 1947 Gin

Pickering’s Original 1947 Gin

The story of Pickering’s 1947 variety is especially interesting and my favourite of the three gins. It’s a spicy little number, delicious with ginger ale or even enjoyed neat over ice.

There’s a lot to learn on Pickering’s Distillery tour, but I’ll keep this review spoiler-free to avoid ruining it if you decide to go. The tour goes into the history of gin and the birth of Pickering’s, we love hearing about a business’ journey, especially one as fascinating as Pickering’s.

“I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.”
     – W.C. Fields 

Pickerings Gin Edinburgh Distillery-17

Before commencing the tour we enjoyed a Pickering’s & Tonic and also one with Dr Pepper – what’s the worst that could happen?

For EdinBloggette, Dr Pepper is probably the worst drink possible, but I’m pretty partial to soft drinks with medical qualifications. Dr Pepper has 23 secret ingredients, and juniper is wildly rumoured to be one of them, so it makes sense it would play so well with gin.

“I’m feeling supersonic. Give me gin and tonic”
– Oasis

Pickerings Gin Edinburgh Distillery-9

During the tour you’ll learn secrets of the bottling and labelling process, who would have thought that would be interesting. Pickering’s is hand crafted from start to finish and the creative time-saving solutions is really quite impressive.

Priced at £10, the tour is exceptional value for money, especially when you consider you get three tastes of gin and a gin & tonic.

As well as learning about how Pickering’s back story, you’ll also learn more about Summerhall itself, a venue which has been home to a number of exciting festivals and exhibitions including:

Pickering’s Distillery tour is inspirational, hearing how the gin started from such humble beginnings shows what can be achieved with determination and passion. It’s time for me to finally get round to cleaning the bathtub and get cracking on Edinburgh’s next distillery.

Pickerings Gin Edinburgh Distillery-13

Gin tours can be arranged Monday – Friday at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Saturday and Sunday tours are also available at 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm and 6pm.

Tours meet at the Royal Dick Bar in the central courtyard of Summerhall (except August) and last around 45-50 minutes.

For £10 a head you can:

  • See how hand crafted, small batch gin is made
  • Marvel at the botanicals room, still and bottling line
  • Sample all three Pickering’s gin expressions
  • Enjoy a Pickering’s & Tonic from the gin tap at The Royal Dick bar
  • Explore the labyrinth of exhibitions and events within Summerhall

To organise a tour, please visit www.pickeringsgin.com/tours-tastings

For large groups over 16 people, please contact Pickering’s directly via tours@pickeringsgin.com or on 0131 290 2901 between 9am-5pm

We were invited to take a tour of the distillery no cost, but as always, opinions are our own and the review was written after only one P&T. 


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