Meet the gin-lovers who set up a distillery

Why invite your friends round for coffee when they can taste your gin instead! That’s what we did when we set up The Gin Kitchen Distillery in November 2016. We had no shortage of volunteers to taste our early experiments and Gutsy Monkey Winter Gin, and Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin are our favourites so far.

Helen & Kate, co-founders of The Gin Kitchen. Mothers' Ruin?

Gutsy Monkey Winter Gin

Gutsy Monkey is a winter gin from Dorking’s first distillery, The Gin Kitchen.
We made this gin with love, laughter and some of Reuben’s spices. Gutsy is full-bodied, rich and smooth with subtle citrus and complex aromatic highlights.
This exclusive gin is hand-crafted in tiny quantities in a traditional copper pot still.

Jon (Reubens Co.), the butcher whose spices inspired us to make Gutsy Monkey.

We use fresh lime zest, thyme and ginger as well as an amazing dried allspice from Jamaica.

The distillation process is slow and gentle to capture these flavours. The delicate thyme and lime flavours are extracted using steam distillation; the other ingredients are steeped overnight and distilled through direct heat.

Our traditional alembic copper pot still, named Dinky Dragondale, was hand-made by a Portuguese craftsman. He doesn't speak English, so we had to communicate our custom modifications through his nephew.
After distillation, we dilute the 80% gin with spring water to a less outrageous 48%, and following a short rest, Gutsy is then bottled and labelled by hand.

Our gins go pearlescent when diluted with tonic water or when cooled down with ice. This is because the essential oils from the fresh ingredients are only soluble in high strengths of alcohol. We chose 48% vol. to maintain the vibrant flavour profile. This effect could be removed by reducing the fresh ingredients or by chill-filtering the gin, but these approaches also remove the flavours and we wanted to keep our gins packed full of taste.

Woodcock Hot Punch

1) Mix equal amounts of apple juice and pear juice.
2) Heat gently in a traditional copper pot still, (or a saucepan).
3) Pour a shot of Gutsy Monkey into a wine glass.
4) Top with a ladle-full of the warm juice.
5) Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a halved blueberry.
6) Serve on a frosty picnic bench in the garden (optional).


We also like to drink Gutsy Monkey neat by an open log fire, after a long walk on a frosty day.

Helen, co-founder of The Gin Kitchen.

Gutsy Monkey & Tonic

The ideal serve for a Gutsy Monkey gin and tonic is a twist of lime, a spanked sage leaf and a slice of red pepper. We like Peter Spanton's tonics. You'll notice that Gutsy Monkey goes pearlescent when the tonic or ice is added. This is because of all the essential oils from the fresh ingredients.

Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin

The Dancing Dragontail is a small understated butterfly native to the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia, the inspiration for Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin.

We chose a light fresh juniper from Kossovo as the base with a kick of aromatic green cardamom and uplifting citrus notes from pink grapefruit. The use of some unusual roots adds complexity and gives the gin a sweet, warm mouth feel.

We like to drink Dancing Dragontail in a lantern lit fairy garden over ice with premium tonic, a twist of lime and a shaving of lemongrass to complement the cardamom. We start giggling after the first sip and, if you’re anything like us, by the end of the glass you’ll feel like dancing!

Our friend Helen Sweeting painted the beautiful watercolour that we used on our Dancing Dragontail label. We said that we wanted a pretty butterfly garden and she has certainly captured the essence of summer in her delicate paintings.

Where to buy a bottle

1) Pop into our distillery (we're in the Spotted Dog's beer garden, Dorking) for a drink and a chat. Bring cake please :o) We take credit cards or cash.

2) Ask us to post you a bottle. Fill out the form below and we'll phone you to take payment.

3) Pick up a bottle from
Village Greens Farm Shop at Denbies.
The Vineyard on South Street.
Fortnum and Mason London
The Vineking Reigate and Weybridge
inn at home Guildford and Newbury
Liquid Gold Ashtead
Crates Horsham
Cellar Wines Ripley
Rebellion Beer Co Marlow
Zoo Café Godalming
Discover Wine Denmead
The Juniper Club
Halfpenny Green Vineyards Stourbridge
Moonshine and Fuggles Ironbridge
Nickolls and Perks Stourbridge

Place an Order

If you'd like us to post you a bottle of Gutsy Monkey or Dancing Dragontail then fill out the form and we'll get in touch to confirm your order and take payment.

  • Sub Total £40.00
    Postage & Packaging £9.00
    Total £49.00
  • visa mastercard amex
Kate, co-founder of The Gin Kitchen.

We'd love to hear from you

Connect with us

Call us on 01306 889598

Visit us or write to us at
The Gin Kitchen
42 South Street

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© Gin Kitchen Limited 2016 All rights reserved.
Creative Commons LicenseImages may be reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. They must be clearly attributed to "The Gin Kitchen".
Gin Kitchen Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 10148532.

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