Beefeater mania Tuesday, Apr 24 2012 

I just re-read my post from the other night and it is totally delirious. Oh well.

our fleet

So, Monday was amazing. We started off bright and early with a grand tour of the Beefeater Distillery, led by the lovely Desmond Payne, Beefeater’s Master Distiller, who is officially my new favorite person. Here he is paused in front of one of the stills’ odd little tasting window-boxes (mental note: will ask him about their real name), from which gin flows for around seven hours each working day of the week. Desmond & his tasters sample from these gin fountains toward the end of each afternoon to find the sweet spot for cutting a new batch of Beefeater. It’s very much a human process and totally subjective. Which I love. (more…)

Longest day in the world Sunday, Apr 22 2012 

My eyes are heavy after this very, very long first day of my trip, but before I go to bed, I wanted to share some of the amazing things that I have experienced in my first 12 hours in London. The gin itinerary (gin-tinerary?) officially begins tomorrow!

First, I checked in at The Dukes hotel, which is oh so very Bri-ish. More than a century ago, it served as guest quarters for friends & family of the royalest of royals. (Is royalest a word? Did I just make that up? Am I delirious?) The rest of the details are fuzzy at this late hour, but the most important thing to remember is that the related Dukes Bar was often frequented by Mr. Ian Flemming. All I managed to squeeze in this evening was a glass of champagne (there is a salon at this hotel dedicated solely to the act of drinking champagne — no joke), but tomorrow evening I intend to make time for a martini shaken, not stirred.

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London calling Saturday, Apr 21 2012 

Greetings from the American Airlines Admirals Club at O’Hare, which is uncharted territory as a) I seldom fly American & b) seldom (read: never) fly Business or First Class. It’s pretty great, btw. People are totally passed-out asleep on really nice leather recliners.

Seeing as I’m about to embark on a gin-centric trip hosted by Pernod Ricard, I had every intention of cashing in my Admirals Club drink ticket for a Beefeater-and-tonic. And yet, my only options were Tanqueray, Bombay and Hendrick’s. Apparently, American Airlines (or is it O’Hare?) is in cahoots with Diageo. Oh well. I went with Hendrick’s, for the record, sans lime. Have you ever tried a Hendrick’s & tonic with an airport lime? It just sounds gross.

Anyway, for the next week or so, I plan to blog daily about my adventures across the pond learning about Beefeater and Plymouth. I’ll be tweeting as much as my international plan allows, using the hashtag #GinandTales (our trip is titled A Tale of Two Cities for London and Plymouth — cute). V. excited to get this show on the road already. On tomorrow’s agenda: Successfully avoiding jetlag by spending the afternoon at the Victoria and Albert Museum. !!!

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