Guests choose from a selection of botanicals to create a particular style of gin.
Guests choose from a selection of botanicals to create a particular style of gin.
Image: Supplied

The Four Seasons Hotel and Inverroche have partnered to bring the premium gin brand’s unique and bespoke distillation experience to Joburg this festive season.

The opportunity allows gin lovers to immerse themselves within the luxurious world of Inverroche through a variety of brand activities, including the distillation and bottling of their very own gin.

Inverroche founder Lorna Scott started the Academy in 2017 to give people an insight into what it takes to craft gin. Scott, with the belief of teaching through storytelling and conversation, invites guests to discover more about the connections not only to gin but also, through the local ingredients used, to a common origin.

It’s an incredibly well-curated experience; from the moment you enter the academy, every aspect has the Inverroche touch, from the miniature copper stills — similar to the one in which Scott made her first batches of Inverroche — to the test-tubes containing the botanical tinctures, bottles and even the labels with which to customise your gin name.

The class starts with an introduction to the brand and gin generally  before you’re guided through the flavour components and how to get your desired taste of gin — be it classic and dry, warm and spicy or Mediterranean and herbaceous. 

The fun really begins when you’re invited to experiment with the various botanicals on offer. From pink peppercorn to baobab, thyme or coconut, each adds a unique touch to the final product.

The distilled spirit is diluted to the correct alcohol percentage.
The distilled spirit is diluted to the correct alcohol percentage.
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Botanical tinctures ranging from orange and grapefruit to baobab and pink peppercorn.
Botanical tinctures ranging from orange and grapefruit to baobab and pink peppercorn.
Image: Supplied

Once everything is added to the still, guests can enjoy a few canapés and, of course, some gin cocktails. Returning to the distillery area, the components of head, heart and tail of the distilled liquid are explained and the heads are cut — it’s the heart (the middle portion of the distillation) that is used when making gin.

While you wait for the process to complete, an Inverroche brand ambassador and your distillation teacher take you through an interesting and insightful tasting that not only demonstrates the diverse range of their portfolio, but also the variety of each expression and how the simple addition of an ingredient transforms the spirit.

A guest noses one of the botanicals.
A guest noses one of the botanicals.
Image: Supplied
The personalised final product.
The personalised final product.
Image: Supplied
Dry botanicals are gently crushed before being placed in the still.
Dry botanicals are gently crushed before being placed in the still.
Image: Supplied

At this point the heart is ready to cut and the spirit is diluted to the required alcohol percentage, before being bottled and labelled with your chosen name and botanical details.

It’s an exciting and educational experience and would make for the perfect year-end celebration, birthday party or just an amazing get together for gin-loving friends. And the best part is you get to leave with a bottle of your very own one-of-a-kind gin.

Price: R1250 per person 

For more information and bookings contact: The Four Seasons Hotel 011 481 6000 or book online here.

A guest samples the dry botanicals.
A guest samples the dry botanicals.
Image: Supplied
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