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Salcombe Distilling launches first gin school

The South West of England can now offer its first Gin School, launched by Salcombe Distilling Company, on its premises in Island Street, Salcombe, Devon. The school will be open to both trade and consumers.

Under the guidance of one of Salcombe Gin’s distillers, each student will learn about distillation and how to produce a balanced gin, while enjoying tastings. Students will then take charge of a copper mini-still to develop and distil their own 70cl bottle of gin.

Co-founders of Salcombe Gin, Howard Davies and Angus Lugsdin, met teaching sailing in Salcombe over 20 years ago. Since launching Salcombe Gin ‘Start Point’ last summer they have installed a state of the art still at their new distillery, created a bar serving Salcombe Gin cocktails overlooking the water and are now introducing the gin school experience.

Most notably, Salcombe Gin was awarded a gold in the World Drinks Awards in December, a huge accolade for this new brand.

Commenting on the gin school, Lugsdin says: “Howard and I have always been fascinated by the distilling process and enjoyed experimenting with different botanicals. We wanted to give others the opportunity to make their own gin. The trend for gin is still on the increase with new gin lists popping up in restaurants and bars all over the country. The gin school supports this by offering an education, in a fun and relaxed way, of how gin is created.”

Each student can get creative and formulate their own recipe, picking from a range of botanicals or bringing their own to experiment with. The distiller will guide them step by step through the fascinating distillation process and explain how to produce a delicious gin. When bottling the new gin, each trainee will be able to fill, personalise and name their own bottle.  It’s then time to place their bottle in an exclusive wooden presentation box to take home.  To complete the experience, the group will head over to the distillery bar at The Boathouse where the ultimate Salcombe & Tonic and estuary view will be waiting.

Inspired by the history of the Salcombe ‘Fruiters’, locally built sailing vessels which imported citrus fruits and spices to England from the Azores, West Indies and Mediterranean in the 19th Century, Salcombe Gin is distilled with ruby grapefruit, lemon and lime peels.

The Salcombe Distilling Co. Gin School experience costs £100 for one person or a shared experience for two costs £125.

15 March 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor