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Review   ›   Short breaks › Travel Inspiration  ›  South West of England

Review: Cocktail masterclass at Gorilla Spirits

October 7, 2022


What I loved about it:

Harry the host! He really made the masterclass fantastic and entertaining.


Gorilla Spirits Distillery, Upton Grey, Hampshire

Suitable for:

Couples, friends, group parties, birthdays – any occasion where you might like to try a cocktail or two

Value for money (out of 10):



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Why should you book a cocktail masterclass at Gorilla Spirits?

I’ve been to a few cocktail making experiences so I have pretty high expectations. I’ve been drinking Gorilla Spirits for a couple of years now, so when they invited me to try their cocktail masterclass I booked it straight in!

Gorilla Spirits is a small-batch distillery hidden away in Upton Grey, a village in North Hampshire. They have a wonderful mission of ‘saving gorillas, one drink at a time’. For every bottle that they sell, they donate £1 to the Gorilla Organisation. Their founder, Andy Daniels, is passionate about proving that a business can be successful whilst focusing on social responsibility.

But what about the cocktails?

On arrival you’ll be set up with a large G&T with your choice of Gorilla gin. I chose the classic Silverback but they also do a delicious strawberry gin. The masterclass can cater for groups of around 10-12 but due to cancellations there were just two others joining my husband and I.

Harry was our host for the evening and he provided us with a list of six cocktail recipes. I expected him to ask us to choose; but was pleasantly surprised when he said he would be making all of them for us to sample. The samples were all provided in large shot glasses, often with top ups available so this is definitely not an experience to be driving to!

The cocktails had a mixture of base using the Gorilla spirits so there was gin, vodka, spiced rum and their special Maraba coffee liqueur. There should be something for everyone’s tastes and Harry would adapt a drink if needed. Whilst he made the cocktails, Harry would tell us some information about the drinks and we found him to be very engaging. We discussed the history of different drinks and some of the interesting drinks we had tried around the world.

The menu changes seasonally though there’s usually a variation of the espresso martini to end on. Then we were given the choice of going behind the bar to make our own cocktails, or to ask Harry to make us something. I asked for a black forest espresso martini and Harry expertly put this together for me. AMAZING!

I decided to go behind the bar to make my husband a cocktail. He said it wasn’t as good as Harry’s and he was probably right! We then asked for ‘one for the road’ and so Harry made ‘The Last Word’. It’s a gin-based cocktail originating from the Prohibition-era. As our taxi pulled up we may have also finished a ‘one more for the road’ with a shot.

I really enjoyed learning about Gorilla Spirits whilst seeing how I could transform them into impressive cocktails with a shaker and ice. Harry is a real asset to the team with his expert bartendering, mixology and knowledge. You can actually visit here on a weekend at ‘Harry’s Bar’ where the locals have a great time.

Prices are £55 for a cocktail masterclass or £100 for two people. You can also go and have a tour of the distillery and tasting of their spirits for £25pp or £45 for two. If you want to go the whole hog, then you can actually make your own gin there in miniature copper stills. The cocktail masterclass would be my top recommendation though.

The distillery is only 15 minutes from Basingstoke, but it is in a rural location and so you should pre-book a taxi. You won’t want to be the designated driver as everyone around you enjoys delicious drinks. There is nowhere to buy food so do eat first. The Hoddington Arms in the village is a fantastic pub for food but it does get booked up a couple of weeks in advance.

There is 15% off experiences in October so be quick to book up a bargain!


This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

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October 7, 2022