We recently enjoyed a fantastic afternoon at “Gin School” in Salcombe with Salcombe Distilling Co (distillers of Salcombe Gin).
Departing Pitt Farm Holiday Cottages courtesy of Twenty20 Taxis (who offered us a classic jag but we opted instead for the classic London Taxi) we arrived in central Salcombe excited to learn more about this great local product that’s now making waves internationally.
What’s Gin School all about?
We would heartily recommend Gin School to anyone with a passion for gin and equally to those with a moderate interest. We fell somewhere between the two but as the afternoon progressed (and the various G&Ts were dispatched) we fell (not literally…although that could have happened) under the spell of juniper, aromatics, spice, citrus and something called “Orris Root”.
The afternoon started with a G&T (a theme will develop here) using Salcombe’s flagship Start Point gin in the distillery’s gorgeous bar overlooking the marina. From there, we were whisked into the distilling room and introduced to the history of the distillery, the London Dry process and the evolution of the Salcombe Gins (but not the recipe) by the very passionate and knowledgeable Graham.
Twenty minutes or so later and we’re sat in chemistry lab / larder / cocktail bar type room with various bits of kit in front of us and instructions for how to distill our own gin from our own recipe. Introduced to the basics, we were invited to develop our own recipes from shelves and shelves of ingredients; some familiar (black pepper, lime peel, bay leaf) and some less so (Peruvian maca root anyone?). Help was there from the Salcombe Gin team who offered guidance to ensure that if you wanted something citrussy or spicy, that was more or less what you were going to get, but the gin recipe was ours uniquely.
Our individual still was charged with base spirit, we added our ingredients and over the next 30 mins (an ideal time over which to try another G&T – Salcombe’s Rosé Sainte Marie this time) our gin was born. Once we had bottled, labelled, tested and tasted it, the gin was ours to take home in a lovely souvenir case (with enough left over for another double each in the bar before home-time).
A fantastic day out and highly recommended. Booking absolutely essential.