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  • Writer's pictureChris Moat

3. The ingredients for success

A distilling experience

We enjoy a drink from time to time and the explosion of gin brands hasn't passed us by, particularly the fruit flavours, colours, quirky additives and impressive range of creative spirits who have taken this drinks category by storm.

One such brand is on our door step and offered distillery tours which we were assured were accompanied by plenty of sampling opportunities and with the added bonus of "making your own gin", at the end of the tour. So we decided on a winters day to make our way down to the City of Manchester distillery and see what all of the fuss was about.

What a trip! We'd heard the back story and history of gin before, and a deep interest in the garden, food, herbs, spices and cocktails made this trip all the more interesting. We delved into the various samples provided throughout the tour (after all, it would have appeared rude not time ) and were having a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Half way through our tour we were led up to a second warehouse building, when the doors opened we were presented with a plethora of Stills all neatly laid out on various workbenches. We were shown to our Stills and re-acquainted with 96% proof alcohol, or Neutral Grain Spirit, along with a room full of as many botanicals as you could possibly imagine. After a 5 minute briefing we were all set to make our own gin.

We left the distillery full of alcohol and ideas, our creative juices were flowing and we excitedly talked about setting up our own gin business. We didn't really know where to start, we did know we were going to have to climb up a very steep learning curve. But the excitement of doing something completely new was in our sights. We had the germ of an idea, a sense of the required ingredients for success and now needed to create the recipe for success.

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