The Ultimate Gin Experience – Brisbane Distillery
Billed as the ultimate gin experience, I might have approached this one with some mild thoughts of trepidation – ultimate, in my opinion can only be reserved to a childhood hero who painted his face and gorilla pressed weak peasants before tossing them from the ring…..but I digress, Brisbane Distillery absolutely delivered y’all.
Hands by your sides
Walking through the main bar/eatery area of Brisbane Distillery (past the classy signage and beautiful decor and the crooning sounds of a long haired bloke banging out Gnarls Barkley), you come to a set of beautiful double doors the open into the Gin School room. With two long tables, each student is greeted with their own placing that contains enough scientific looking equipment to make Frankenfurter blush his tooshie off, some pretty charts explaining botanical categories and…..the most delightful Gin and tonic and I have had the pleasure of consuming in, like, forever. After directions to keep our hands by our sides while our intrepid teachers provided the background of the original Dutch Courage “Jenever” (now known by the name Gin), the tools in front of us and the botanicals we were about to choose from
Sweet, spicy, woody or Fruity
With 140-180 botanicals to choose from, we were encourage to look through a diagram provided to us. With the directions of – choose 4-5 botanicals (one of which must be Orrix Root or Angelica Root – to bind the flavours of your botanicals) and ideally no more than 2 per category, we had the following to choose from;
- Herbal – including things like sage, eucalyptus, wormwood
- Woody – Cacao, Coffee, Hazelnut etc
- Spiced – The biggest category with close to 50 options – Aniseed, cinnamon, ginger, tarragon etc
- Citrus – Bergamot, grapefruit, Kaffir Lime etc
- Fruity – Acai, Pear, Mango, Pineapple etc
- Sweet – Agave, Honey, Liquorice Root, Maple Syrup etc
- Floral – Chamomile, Elderflower, Rooibos etc
The cackles around the room as everyone began to embrace their inner tipsy bartender/mad scientist and compare potential combinations with their fellow students. Accusations of copying and oooohs and ahhhhhhs of appreciation as thoughts of what will work well flavourwise with people deciding that they have discovered a new set of skills as a savant or seasoning, guru of gastronomy or a doyen of drinks.
Collecting your botanicals and inserting them into your teabag to brew in your your magical copper still, I felt like a kid at kindergarten that has been given the opportunity to choose the story for floor reading time. Staring at the still as it starts bubbling your own personal brew, akin to a creature staring longingly at a piece of jewellery muttering “filthy hobbitses” – the excitement is palpable, suitable placated by the arrival of the second and third of four amazing delightful cocktails and a tasting board with cheeses and cured meats.
Gin time baby
Provided with fancy schmancy labels (with plenty of space to write your botanical choices and a s/wanky name for your newly created wine, you have the choice to colour your wine or leave it “au natural”. I chose “Ataahua” – which is Maori for beautiful, while my lovely lass went with “Spicy Bloom” – we both decided to choose a reactive colouring (it changes colour if you add tonic to it…..science hahaha)
Either way, the team at Brisbane Distillery are onto a winner here. If you are looking for something a little different – whether it be for a gift, a hens night activity, a date, a learning experience or something left of field to occupy your evening, the Gin masterclass is an absolute gem of an activity to wrap your tasting gear around.
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