jamie goode's wine blog

Friday, December 14, 2007

How gin is made: a film from the Beefeater distillery, London

A short, rather rough and ready film showing how gin is made...

This was filmed yesterday at the Beefeater distillery, near the Oval cricket ground in Kennington, South London. It's an interesting process. The rules stipulate that gin distilleries can't do the first distillation on site, so the spirit comes in, is put into tanks, and then mixed with botanicals before the second distillation.

It's the 'botanicals' that is the interesting bit about gin. In a way, gin production is a bit similar to the work of a perfumier. Juniper berries are one of the key components, but as you'll see from the film, there are a lot more, including coriander seed, seville orange peel, liquorice, almonds and lemon peel.

These botanicals are steeped in alcohol for 24 h, then distillation begins. The end result is then taken off to Scotland where it is diluted to the appropriate strength to make gin.