I challenge you to find anything more refreshing than a good gin and tonic. Served in a giant goblet with lots of ice, a slice of lemon and some juniper berries, it’s hard to beat.
Craft gin is having a moment. It’s been having a moment for the last five years and luckily for me, as a self-confessed gin addict, it shows no sign of stopping. There are gin bars, gin delivery clubs and even places where you can make your own gin.
45 Gin School – Review
Enter 45 Gin School in Leicestershire. Forget Disneyland, this is where dreams come true.
First things first, you need to organise a driver or book a taxi as you’ll almost certainly be over the limit when you’ve finished.
We arrived and were greeted with a cup of tea (I was surprised too) and a biccie before being led into their distillery.
On entering we are confronted with ‘Messy Betty’, Burleigh’s impressive, custom made, copper still. It’s shinny pink and copper colour lights up the room and mesmerises us as we begin to learn the art of gin making.
At 45 Gin school, they make London Dry Gin. Surprisingly this has nothing to do with London and can be made anywhere in the world. A London Dry Gin cannot have any botanicals or flavourings added after the distillation process.
We learn about the heads (the first bit of gin), the hearts (the good bit) and the tails (the end bit that tastes horrid). We hold and smell different spices, learning that all gins have to include juniper berries as the dominant flavour and most have between 4 and 12 spices in total.
After we’ve learnt how to make the gin, this is where the fun really be-GINs. We’re finally given a giant, freshly made Burleigh’s gin and tonic, and head to our mini copper stills.
Making our gin
First, we pick our ingredients. They have a huge array of options from the classic such as juniper that you have to include to more unusual options such as silver birch bark or liquorice root. Luckily for us, our master distiller checks our recipe and guides us to make sure we’ll end up with a drinkable end result!
Next, we bubble away, drinking unlimited gin and tonic all the while. We keep a close eye as our gin drips out the end funnel, tasting regularly to judge when we have reached our gin tails.
Our finished gin
Finally, our gin is done! We name and bottle it, and head home for family and friends to do blind taste tests of our gin compared to the official 45 gin, which we couldn’t help but treat ourselves to a bottle of.
Ginning like a Cheshire Cat with my bottle of gin.
45 Gin School Experience can be bought here and is £145 for two, and is well worth it.