Gin school launches in Leeds city centre - giving you the chance to create your very own gin

A UK gin specialist is making its splash in Leeds with the launch of a new gin school which will see participants creating their own gin available to order again and again.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 4:45 am
Gin and vodka school presenter Paul Hickman at the Nelson's Distillery and School at the Hilton hotel in Leeds (photo: Simon Hulme)

Nelson’s Distillery and School officially opened its Leeds doors on Friday, May 21 at the Hilton Leeds City Hotel in Neville Street.

The school offers an insight into the secrets of gin making and allows individuals to create their own unique blend to take home.

The Leeds school originally opened for two weeks before the first lockdown and had been forced to stay closed ever since.

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Participants get to create their very own bottle of gin to take home with them (photo: Simon Hulme)

The owner of Nelson's Distillery and School, Neil Harrison, told the Yorkshire Evening Post what he thinks is the best thing about his gin extravaganza.

He said: "You make your own gin with whatever botanicals you want which is a really special thing.

"Then, we keep the list of ingredients that people have used on file so that when they've finished the bottle they take home with them, they can order another of their very own creation that we then make for them.

"One person joked to me that it's like having a baby - making your own gin with whatever botanicals you want - and although that might be stretching it a bit, that is definitely the best part."

Participants receive a history lesson about gin in each class, and will have the chance to try three or four gins along with lunch provided by the Hilton hotel as part of the package.

Mr Harrison added: "You get your lunch and you make your own gin, what's not to like?!

"We are extremely excited about opening the school in Leeds and think it will bring a very new and vibrant option to the city’s entertainment scene.

“We’ve had to be patient but now we are looking forward to the future with a lot of anticipation.

“For anyone who is enthusiastic about gin, the school is a not-to-be missed experience and the perfect chance to create your own blend.”

Neil said the demand for places at the school in Leeds has been 'very strong' so far, and he puts this down to the unique experience offered for gin enthusiasts.

He said: "The response has been amazing and it's just been amazing to actually get the school open again.

"Tension really has been building but it's excellent to be back and get people to try gin and make their own gin.

"We're getting bookings in on a daily basis."

Nelson’s Distillery and School is based in Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, having officially launched in 2019.

Since then, over 100,000 bottles have been made and five new gin and vodka schools created in the UK and Asia, with online sales soaring by 400 per cent last year.

Schools have been launched in Manchester and Birmingham as well since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Nelson's Distillery and School also produces a range of vodka and rum and supplies to Waitrose, and independent restaurants and bars across the country.

How be-gin your experience at Nelson's:

Bookings can be made for the Leeds gin school through Nelson's website at

Classes at the Hilton Leeds City Hotel will be held every Friday from 4pm to 8pm and on Saturdays from 2pm to 6pm.