I am not a huge drinker – my parents like to say that I used up all my ‘going out chips’ when I was at Uni and now I like nothing more than a few quiet drinks over dinner with friends rather than a big racous night out. I’m not a big wine drinker following a disasterous night after my A-Level results so I’m always on the look out for the perfect easy drink which isn’t a sneaky snakebite. When I got an invite from Burleigh Gin, a local artisan distillery near our house, I jumped at the chance to learn more about Gin – maybe I’d find my dream drink…!
My parents love a gin, and my mum does especially so I asked if I could bring her along to which Burleigh graciously agreed. She was absolutely buzzing for the event and we dashed off after work a few weeks ago to explore more.
Burleigh Gin is located at Bawdon Lodge Farm in Nanpantan, just off the Charley Road Crossroads. Whilst it is quite difficult to find (there is literally NO street lights around), it is literally minutes from the motorway junction which makes it a really good location. We pulled up into the carpark and were welcomed by Molly, who then took us into the distilling room to be welcome by Liam. We were each handed a gin (Burleigh original gin with a Schweppes tonic -one of their new premium range- accompanied by a massive slice of orange) and Liam got down to the tour.
We were introduced to ‘Messy Bessy’ the distilleries 450ltr copper pot still where all the gin is created. We learnt about the actual process of creating Gin which I knew nothing about, and also learnt that all the gin made at Burleigh is done by Liam and Mollys own fair hands! The gin is created at around 40 litres per hour, in comparision to your big name brands who may run at around 40,000litres an hour. This means that it takes around 48 hours to create and bottle approximately 600 bottles. During distillation, all the nasties that give you the raging headache are removed (remember drinking cheap vodka at uni and waking up feeling like you might not make the morning? That is down to the type of distillation used!) .
I honestly didn’t know the first thing about distilling and found every minute of the tour fascinating. We discussed the botanicals included in the gin including Orris Root, (which smelt bloody awful) orange peel, corrainer and juniper, sourced all the way from Macadonia. One very interesting ingredient was that of Silver Birch bark, inspired by the Burleigh woods nearby.
What I really loved was seeing the bottling process – every bottle that leaves that little room is bottled by hand which I really think adds a touch of magic. The gins itself does a higher price point as you would imagine and seeing the whole start to finish really was a treat; it definitely makes you appreciate how hard they work to ensure the perfect product.
I absolutely loved the tour and my mum who is a total gin fiend loved it it too – the tickets are only £20 and tours are available on a Wednesday afternoon throughout the year. Definitely a great gift to buy your gin loving friends! If your budget is a bit larger, they also have ‘gin school’ where you can go and create your own gin blend, then take a whole bottle home with you!
*Since the tour, I’ve actually become a bit of ginny myself, my current being Rhubarb gin with ginger beer!*
Massive thank you to Burleigh Gin for having us!
*tour was complimentary, all opinions are my own.