Can I make my own gin?

Can I make my own gin?

Yes, you can. And we'll show you how. Making your own gin is a wonderfully creative process: if you already have a flavour in mind, that's great, but if you're unsure what's out there and what works and what doesn't, we're here to guide you through the seemingly endless list of botanicals at your hand. 

Every botanical has its unique characteristics and as if that wasn't enough, they do interact with each other. Often it makes a difference whether you are using dried or fresh botanicals, and of course, you want to keep an eye on relative and overall quantities. 

We are working with a wide variety of botanicals and you can taste and smell your way through our range before deciding which ones you like best. The first part of our gin crafting classes is all about botanicals, and Adrian often spends an hour with you to explore your favourites and help your balance out your recipe. 

Selection of hand-picked botanicals ready for the still run

The distillation itself is an age-old technique, which makes it even more fascinating. We are using a small 5L copper still and you'll be as hands on as it gets: from weighing the exact quantities of your ingredients, filling the botanical basket, sealing the still with thread tape, to monitoring the temperature - you'll be in charge of it all. Under supervision, of course. 

Once the spirit starts dripping, it's time to separate heads and tails and to make sure you're collecting the hearts of your gin. The hearts are the main part of the distillate, what tastes best and is of highest quality. Yes, you will be doing quality control while you are running the still.

After you've collected your hearts, it is time to dilute the spirit. Fresh from the still, you'll have a spirit with an ABV of about 80%, which means you need to dilute it down to your desired strength. Somewhere between 37.5% and 45% is usually a good call, but it's entirely up to you, because it's your gin.

Liz Carlson holding her very own gin after taking a gin crafting class with Papaiti Gin

Now you're almost done, you only need to bottle your gin... and give it a name of course. If you've booked a class for two people, each of you gets to take home a 700ml bottle of your very own gin.

We're running four gin crafting classes per week and it's hands down one of our favourite things to do and always great fun - for you but also for us, because each customer has very unique and fascinating ideas what their gin should taste like.

Intrigued? You can book you gin crafting class online here.

Image credits: Liz Carlson @youngadventuress

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