Carol Brown sam­ples the de­lights of Aberdeen’s Gin School and Dis­tillery

menu wine colum­nist, Carol Brown, sam­ples the de­lights of Aberdeen’s Gin School and Dis­tillery

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - THE MENU -

At the end of last year, I bumped into a cou­ple of friends at a wine tast­ing.

They said that they had a se­cret to share with me, and when pressed told me that they were about to open a gin dis­tillery and gin school in Aberdeen.

Oh, and would I like to come along and make my own gin!

Ob­vi­ously, I had to think about that for at least a sec­ond...

When the City of Aberdeen Dis­tillery and Aberdeen Gin School opened its arch­way doors at Arch 10, on Palmer­ston Road to the pub­lic on De­cem­ber 14, it be­came the first dis­tillery in the city in more than 75 years.

It’s cosy and at­mo­spheric, trains rum­ble qui­etly over­head.

At the heart is the hand-crafted horse­shoe-shaped ex­pe­ri­ence bench which is home to 20 Alem­bic cop­per mini stills – this is where gin school at­ten­dees over the course of a three­hour ex­pe­ri­ence be­come dis­tillers un­der the at­ten­tive eye and guid­ance of dis­tillers Alan Milne and Dan Bar­nett.

The demi-john bench is home to very small-batch lim­ited-edi­tion gins which can be tasted and then bought in var­i­ous bot­tle sizes.

I like “no.38 Rhubarb” on its own or with tonic and “no.39 Rhubarb” with gin­ger ale.

Fresh’ Gin is just that – smooth, crisp and pre­cise.

Then there is the all-im­por­tant botan­i­cal ta­ble which gives would-be dis­tillers more than 100 op­tions to use in their gin cre­ation.

Some will be fa­mil­iar to gin drinkers, oth­ers sound like they would be equally at home in a Hog­warts po­tions class.

I’m al­ways drawn to citrus gins on gin menus so de­cided to go down that route.

In­clud­ing the stan­dards of ju­niper, co­rian­der, or­ris root and an­gel­ica, I ended up with 13 botan­i­cals in­clud­ing lemon ver­bena, Kaf­fir lime leaf (not too much as it can dom­i­nate), pome­gran­ate peel, grape­fruit peel and cubeb pep­pers.

There is cur­rently only one (now half full) bot­tle of my unique cre­ation “GinTuition-the Citrus Blend” but I do have a copy of the recipe to recre­ate it.

It’s fra­grant, citrus for­ward with grape­fruit, Kaf­fir, pome­gran­ate, spice touches and flo­ral notes (that would be the hi­bis­cus).

I like to serve it in a large gin glass with lots of ice, light tonic and a slice of pink grape­fruit.

The Gin School is a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence and I came away, not just with my unique gin, but with fu­ture recipe ideas in my mind.

The City of Aberdeen Dis­tillery has de­vel­oped sev­eral recipes for its sig­na­ture gin which will ini­tially be avail­able in demi-john.

The fi­nal one will be de­cided on by the peo­ple of Aberdeen and re­leased early this year.

You can book the Gin School Ex­pe­ri­ence through the web­site, or pop in and chat to the guys – they’re pas­sion­ate about what they do.

Check out the lat­est demi­john cre­ation at https://cityof ab­erdeendis­tillery.co.uk/

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