Find out more about Covid-19 Business Support
Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
Home-schooling for grown-ups
Home-schooling for grown-ups
26 May, 2020

The team behind the multi-award-winning Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery are taking lockdown learning to a new level with the launch of their interactive Virtual Gin School.

Gin-lovers can watch via video link as Hotham’s head distiller makes a bottle of gin to each customer’s unique recipe, whilst enjoying cocktails from the comfort of their own home.

Co-founder Emma Kinton said: “Our Gin School has been closed for ten weeks, and we’re really missing the interaction we have with our guests every weekend. We’ve been thinking during that time how we can deliver a similar experience to gin fans online, with as much of the interaction, learning and fun that they’d experience if they came in person to Gin School.

“There are a lot of elements that we want to make sure come across as well at Virtual Gin School as they do at ‘real’ Gin School - that includes drinking plenty of gin cocktails and seeing the distilling process up close.”

To ensure student gin-makers get the full experience, Hotham’s deliver a generous gin hamper prior to the online Zoom event, containing everything needed to complete their homework, which includes choosing their own botanicals - the herbs, spices, fruits and roots which flavour gin - and preparing cocktails for the online gin tasting.

“We’ve even included ice cube bags and tonics so there are no excuses!” says co-founder Simon Pownall.  “You can prepare the perfect G&T to drink while watching us distil your own gin and learning about every step of the gin-making process."

After distilling is complete, Hotham’s bottles, wax-dips and labels each unique creation, ready for home delivery a few days later. “It’s a gin-lover’s dream,” adds Emma, “and it’s an experience that goes beyond just an online workshop. You’ve got the excitement of your hamper delivery, the pleasure of selecting your own botanicals, then the magic of seeing them transformed into a bottle of gin. And it doesn’t end there - then you can look forward to your unique gin arriving at your doorstep!”

Hotham’s Virtual Gin School launches online on 13th June 2020, to coincide with World Gin Day, and will run every week until government lockdown measures are eased. Tickets are available now at

The idea was inspired by the virtual Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards that happened virtually for the first time this year, where Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery won 'Remarkable Experience' for the second year running. 

“The truth is,” concludes Simon, “I’m missing having an audience for my corny gin jokes. Our lockdown learners can rest assured that there’ll be no shortage of gin - or my cheesy one-liners!”