Let the fun Be – Gin: Five of the best gin blending experiences in South Australia You may love drinking gin, but have you ever blended your own? South Australia is widely known for its food and wine but scratch below the surface and you will find an array of world-class gin distilleries providing curious spirit lovers authentic gin blending experiences.
78 Degrees, a gin distilled at the Adelaide Hills Distillery, claimed ‘World’s Best Gin’ at the American Distilling Institute Awards. Kangaroo Island’s KIS O’Gin was recently awarded Australia’s Best Gin in the Inaugural Australian Gin Awards, and in February Never Never Distilling Co. won World’s Best Classic Gin at the World Gin Awards. Experts on the hidden gems within the state, The South Australia Tourism Commission, have put together the top five gin blending experiences every gin lover should try.
- Durand Distillery, a hidden gem in the Barossa wine region
When artisan gin distiller Brett Durand set up the Durand Distillery School on his mother-in-law Maggie Beer’s property, he never anticipated the huge success it would become.
He is passionate about sharing the joy of discovering your own flavour and bottling your very own blend of gin. The experience begins with a quick lesson on the different aspects of flavouring and why Juniper is the cornerstone of all gin, followed by a delicious meal prepared by chef Tim Bourke and his very talented team at The Farm Eatery.
Of course, you will walk away with a bottle of your own unique recipe to enjoy with family and friends. The team keeps a record of your blend on file just in case you want another bottle or would like to come back and perfect it.
- Gin O’clock at Settlers Spirits
Take a gin blending expedition at one of South Australia’s favourite distillers, Settlers Spirits, captained by Adelaide local Rowland Short and his wife Shelley.
The home of the infamous G & Tea, a breakfast gin that’s infused with Earl Grey tea, Settler’s Gin is pioneering new frontiers and flavouring the time-old spirit with a uniquely Australian twist.
In a two-hour masterclass, you’ll learn about different flavour combinations using 12 different botanicals. Using what you’ve learnt you will create your own gin recipes and bottle the best one to take home.
The classes are small, interactive and lots of fun giving you a feel for Rowland’s passion for botanicals which, he says, are the natural world’s language of joy and splendour.
- Hop across to Kangaroo Island Spirits and blend your own
John Lark is the godfather of craft gin in Australia and his distillery is a must visit on any trip to Kangaroo Island.
As well as adding fuel to the gin craze, he was ahead of the trend in using native botanicals – including native juniper alongside Italian juniper berries. With support from his wife he has designed a unique masterclass that will allow you to delve into the fascinating world of gin.
The class takes around two hours and includes a brief history on gin, why the Larks are so passionate about it and a healthy range of traditional and native botanical distillates to choose from. At the end of the blending session you will have 200mls of your hand-crafted blend to enjoy.
- Take a step back in time at Twenty Third Street Distillery
This distillery is worth a visit, even just to admire the century-old copper stills brought from cobwebbed disuse back to burnished glory. Twenty Third Street Distillery has truly been reignited with new creative passion. While you’re there, take a guided tour and enjoy a tasting that will open your mind and your senses to new dimensions.
Let your senses lead the way as you explore the different taste profiles and create your own signature blend to take home and enjoy.
- Ambleside Distillers, perfect for romance seekers
For a more intimate gin blending experience, Ambleside should be your distillery of choice with each experience suited for groups of five or less. They have a selection of over 22 distilled botanicals to create your own fragrant blend of gin to take home.
The experience starts with a ‘Gin Tasting Flight’, followed by a quick lesson from an expert distiller. To finish, you’ll create and blend two of your own personal gins to take home. Experts will be on hand to ensure your concoction is one of a kind.