London's Family Gin Distillery
The Original Gin
The story of Hayman’s started way back in 1863, when our great-great-grandfather pioneered the distinctive taste of London Dry Gin. Fast forward 160 years, and the London Dry style has become the most popular gin on the planet. We’re still proud to put his original recipe in every bottle.
As an independent family business, we really care about what we make, who we work with and the people who enjoy our gin. Family is at the heart of everything we do. Our Hayman’s London Distillery is home to tours, cocktail masterclasses and more, but above all it’s where we make our great-tasting gins, distilling ten botanicals over two full days in gleaming copper stills named after female family members Marjorie, Karin and Miranda.
It’s also where our family history meets our future. This is where we innovate and experiment to find new flavours and expressions. And it’s where we find new ways to make our business sustainable, sourcing renewable ingredients and recycling waste, and working towards B Corp certification.
Recent innovations have included our Hayman’s London Light and Small Gin which offer a low alcohol G&T but with no compromise on taste. Another is our sustainable British vodka, Respirited. It is made from our distillation and production process to reduce waste, and uses rescued grain spirit to create a smooth and characterful vodka in sustainable packaging.
The Hayman Family
“I always enjoyed visiting Dad at the distillery when I was younger. The distinct smell of botanicals was so intense that it left a lasting impression – I always hoped that I might work in the family company one day.”
“One of my favourite memories of gin are from my student days in Spain. There’s nothing better than relaxing with a refreshing gin and tonic and sharing delicious tapas with friends.”
“I remember watching from the window as the wooden crates of gin were delivered to my parents’ house in the company van. My father’s favourite tipple was a Bronx gin cocktail.”
The Hayman gin distilling story starts in 1863 when James Burrough, a charismatic London pharmacist opened a small distillery in Cale Street, Chelsea (then spelt as Chelsey). He experimented with a number of gin recipes, giving them names such as Burrough’s, Olde Chelsey, Beefeater and Black Cat. At that time, London’s gin of choice was Old Tom Gin, however James was busy pioneering a drier style that we know today as London Dry Gin.
James was the great grandfather of Christopher Hayman and the Hayman family have been distilling gin ever since.
In the same way as many a family business that has been around for more 160 years, the Hayman gin journey has been full of twists and turns – from global conflicts, prohibition and dips in gin trends. A major turn came in 1987 when the family business was sold. A disappointed Christopher promptly purchased back one part of the business so that he could continue the family’s gin distilling journey.
Today Hayman’s is based in Balham, South West London and only a few miles from the original family distillery in Chelsea. Christopher’s children James and Miranda now run Hayman’s -while sharing the same passion and affection for gin. Christopher, Hayman’s Master Distiller, is often seen in the distillery, taking an active role in the distillery process and sharing his knowledge. In 2019, he celebrated 50 years of working in gin, which was marked by introducing Hayman’s Rare Cut – our London Dry cut at 50% – the perfect strength for a Martini – Christopher’s favourite cocktail.