Everyone knows I love gin. I LOVE IT! So when 45 West Gin School invited me to join them at their distillery just outside of my hometown Loughborough, I called my best buddy Patrick and told him to clear his diary pronto. Their master distiller Jamie Baxter is a superhero in my eyes – not only is he the man behind the East Midland’s very own ‘Burleigh’s gin‘, in a previous life he also perfected the recipe for the delicious Williams Chase marmalade vodka.
The day arrived and we excitedly headed out into the pretty Leicestershire countryside in search of the holy botanical grail. We joined a group of bloggers including the familiar and lovely face Lisa from Glamour in the County and new (and equally lovely) face Laura from Extreme Housewifery and got stuck into the delicious Burleigh’s signature Tom Collins cocktails waiting for us,
Jamie started with a talk about the science behind gin and what does and doesn’t count when it comes to the rules. He also talked us through the gin making process and introduced us to the glorious Messy Bessy, a traditional copper still. I don’t want to give away all Jamie’s secrets so you’ll have to book onto the course to hear exactly what we were told! Suffice to say, the whole thing was incredibly interesting from start to finish.
After the talk and a mini tour around the distillery, including a look at all those tasty bottles of Burleigh’s Gin stacked up on pallets ready for delivery all around the world, we got to the exciting bit. Distilling our own gin in mini stills set up in the classroom area. We got to choose our own flavours and with some help on measurements and combinations off we went!
I win no points for originality, I chose to call mine ‘Gin Bites’ – infused with grapefruit and lemon peel, rowan berries and coriander, the flavour is subtle and totally delicious. Over half the bottle has gone already and I’m fairly sure it won’t last the length of September.
A class at 45 West Gin School (including making your very own bottle of gin) costs from £95. For more information have a look on their fab website. They are also on twitter and Burleigh’s gin are on instagram. Go and say hello!