I’m advised that I have to wait two weeks until the gin I made on Saturday will be ready to enjoy fully. However, I can already say that the experience of making it was great fun. We met our guide and gin maker, Christine, in the brand new Adams Visitor Centre at the back of the recently refurbished Swan Hotel. There were four of us on the morning gin making experience and after a short introductory film, Christine took us next door to the distillery where she gave us a tour and talk on how Adnams make their gin.
Then it was off to the laboratory where we were given advice on the flavours we might like to add to our Adnams Longshore Vodka before distilling. There were spicy flavours, herbal, fruity or floral with the only rule being that juniper berries were added to make it classify as a gin. I chose mostly fruity flavours such as orange peel, grapefruit and lemon balm but added some ginger for spice and Earl Grey tea for balance. Christine was there by our side to look at the ingredients we wanted to include and advise of amounts to weigh out and suggest any other additions that might enhance our recipes.
Then, to our ingredients, we added the Longshore vodka and heated our stills so that distilling could take place. Whilst this was happening and our stills dripped quietly away, we chose our gin’s name and manufactured and printed our labels for our gin bottles. I named mine “Long Train Running Gin”. Doobie Brothers fans and karaoke singers will be family with the title. Then it was time for a spot of tutored spirit tasting. Samples of Adnams’ gins and vodkas were happily passed around as well as tasters of their orange liqueur and apple brandy.
We distilled 400g of gin which we poured into our bottles and topped up with reverse osmosis water. Lids on, we were all given a 10% discount voucher for the Adnams shop. So we all headed down there for a few more samples of spirits including the newly released Rye Whisky.
The cost of the morning gin making experience is £95. This includes the gin you take home with you and tour of the distillery. Vouchers are available and would make an excellent Christmas present for the gin lover in your life.