MANCHESTER Three Rivers Gin is to be found tucked underneath the railway arches of the Green Quarter. It was a journey I undertook on a bitter Tuesday evening, hoping that I would enjoy the evening making gin and meeting new people.
Light spilled out of the door as I hurried in to be greeted by smiling faces and a restorative stiff G&T. Swiftly thawed out, all of us booked in for their Gin Experience session were guided through a brief history of both gin and the distillery itself. Bolstered by this back story we were shown Angel, Three Rivers’ Arnold Holstein still.
These stills are so highly valued by distillers that in order to own one you must be invited by or recommended to the German company.
Angel is a 450 litre still that can produce up to 500 bottles at a time. Sadly, we didn’t get to see it in action but instead we were taken across the road to the company’s new gin school.
It was there that we were let loose on our own miniature stills. With over 50 botanicals to choose from we were given a little advice (add oats for smoothness; don’t use too many botanicals) and then told to see what we could come up with.
As someone who is not overly fond of gin I chose to make a bottle that would complement the flavours of a bramble (my go-to gin cocktail). It was great fun to work out how much of which ingredient to add to achieve the right balance and the distilling process was gratifyingly fast – about 25 minutes from adding everything to the still to stoppering our finished bottles. That, of course, left enough time for a drink and a chat but not so long that the group started to get restless.
Three Rivers’ Gin Experience has just been announced as the ‘best rated tourist attraction in the UK’ by Premier Inn and Tripadvisor and it’s not hard to see why. The three hours flew by and I came away feeling more confident in talking about gin and with a bespoke bottle that I look forward to drinking. I may even branch out beyond a bramble.
The Gin Experience at Three Rivers costs £95 per person and a voucher would make a fantastic Christmas gift for the gin lover in your life. The tours run Thursday through to Saturday until December 23 with January dates being announced soon. Book here.
Manchester Three Rivers Gin, 21 Red Bank, Parade, Manchester M4 4HF.0161 839 2667.