When we think of illicit spirits we think of prohibition America but our own isle also has hundreds of years of experience in dodging the law when it comes to strong drink. From the highlands of Scotland to the bays of Cornwall, the Irish hills to the London streets, we've always been up to something naughty.
For as long as spirits have existed, there has been someone doing something really naughty with them: selling gin through pipes in a London back alley; standing guard on a Cornish clifftop waiting for a smuggler's signal; or dodging bombs and shrapnel running whisky in the Blitz. It is a history that is thrilling, utterly fascinating and uniquely Britis
From the gin dispensed from a cat's paw at the Puss and Mew shop which could have been the world's first vending machine, to whole funeral corteges staged just to move a coffin filled with whisky, the stories show off all the wonderful wit and ingenuity required to stay one drink ahead of the law. The accompanying recipes are just as intriguing: How did we drink gin before tonic? Was punch really made with curdled milk? Or breakfast served with brandy porridge, and gin mixed into hot ale? What did the past really taste like?
Drink historian and liqueur maker Ruth Ball has delved deep into that history in researching her first book Rebellious Spirit: The Illicit History of Booze in Britain. As well as recreating many of the recipes of the time to discover exactly what our ancestors were drinking. Now she is going to share a little of that insight with you, from the gin dispensing cat of the 1700s to the black marketeers of the second world war.
Get Behind The Bar & Learn To Make (& Drink) Four Classic Cocktails with Our In-House Mixologists
Feb 16th 2017 - Dec 31st 2017
Living Animals Invade The Wunderkabinett - Pet a Python, Fondle a Frog, Touch a Tarantula, cuddle a Chameleon & more in a educational display
Mar 3rd 2017 - Dec 31st 2017
Private View May 9th Exhibition May-September 2017
May 9th 2017 - Sep 30th 2017
Join The Last Tuesday Society as we toast to the Empire of Booze, raising our glasses to a history of the British Empire told through drink and author Henry Jeffreys.
Jul 11th 2017 - Jul 11th 2017
Join Master Storyteller Giles Abbott and just twelve guests around the Sarcophagus in Lion's Chamber of Our Museum's Wunderkabinnet for Monthly Storytelling evenings
Mar 12th 2017 - Jul 9th 2017
Join the reclusive Viktor Wynd on a journey into the bowels of the earth and his basement museum.
Jan 11th 2017 - Jun 21st 2017
Join Viktor Wynd, for a night of Tall Tales from The Brother's Grimm, The Arabian Nights or Ireland accompanied by a Glass of The World's Most Unusual Gin (& T)
Jan 24th 2017 - Jun 20th 2017
Paired with Navy Strength Rum
Jun 6th 2017 - Jun 6th 2017
Join us for an evening of wonder and curiosity, art and science, to celebrate the release of a fascinating new book on the art of taxidermy by New York City taxidermists Divya Anantharaman and Katie Innamorato.
Apr 25th 2017 - Apr 25th 2017
Absinthe & l'Androgynie
Apr 18th 2017 - Apr 18th 2017
with Fenella Hitchcock
Apr 11th 2017 - Apr 11th 2017
An Exhibition of 35 works by the Anglo-Mexican Surrealist from The Viktor Wynd Collection generously supported by Hendrick's Gin.
Sep 17th 2016 - Apr 6th 2017
An Interactive Illusion of the Greatest Kind + Victorian-era Cocktails to Pair
Apr 4th 2017 - Apr 4th 2017
For The Hendrick's Commission 2016 Paul Hazelton Fills the Wunderkabinett with Ghostly Figures made of Dust
Sep 17th 2016 - Mar 31st 2017