“For Manchester is the place where people do things…”Judge Parry, 1912
There are many reasons that I love Manchester. The food, the shops, the bars, the atmosphere and the people. It is safe to say that it’s my favourite city to visit. Living in Stoke, it’s only a short hop down the a34 to get there and I still get all the luxury of cheap rent, with the added bonus of city life within driving distance.
It’s the people of Manchester that make is what it is. Not only are they friendly and make you feel like a local in a big city, but they also have a passion to create. With the city adopting the humble worker bee as their symbol, they boast of their industrial roots passionately to this day.
Where does the Gin Experience come in to this though?
Three Rivers Gin takes all the story and narrative of the rich history of Manchester and embodies it in every bottle. Setting up the first modern day distillery the city has ever seen, the Manchester Distillery is where Three Rivers Gin is distilled, bottled and distributed; all by a small team of truly passionate folk.
With a background in film and storytelling, the founder Dave Rigby is the Master Distiller and the brains behind the entire operation. Knowing that he wanted to produce a product that not only tasted good, but told a story – Three Rivers Gin was born with the pride of Manchester in mind.
Based in the Green Quarter, down at t’bottom end of the city, this rather rugged looking location is home to a beautifully designed space which is home to a 450litre custom made copper pot still “Angel” which was made by one of the world’s finest manufacturers of distillation equipment, Arnold Holstein. From stepping in to the bar area, you immediately pick up on the exquisite design work that has gone in to transforming a rather neglected looking space. From the logo above the bar, to the monochrome, honeycomb floor tiles. It’s a place that was built on passion.
The Gin Experience
Wanting to give locals and tourists a taste of not only the gin, but the unique history of Manchester, the chaps at Three Rivers Gin have put together the opportunity to not only see the method of the gin being made, but you can also have a Gin Experience where you can create your own unique flavour.
With a variety of herbs, spices and flavours awaiting you, this Harry Potter style set up allows you to choose your own combinations and infuse them in to your gin as part of the experience. You’ll also know which flavours to choose after the expert bartender takes you through the flavour journey and recommends a few combinations.
Each ingredient is displayed proudly on the shelves at the back of the mini distillers, which are set up in a row at the back of the bar area. With over 40 different flavours you can add to your personal gin blend, such as nuts and oats to add a creamy taste, or go more floral with rose petals. There were an abundance of flavours inbetween to curate your own recipe, but I chose: carob, rose petal, honeysuckle, chamomile, vanilla and almond for my gin.
I was going for a taste that was creamy and well-rounded, but with a slightly sweet taste. It’s safe to say I achieved it, but I’m unsure if this is a combination I would go with if I had another go. I like the idea of having a tea flavoured gin, so perhaps the smokiness of lapsang souchong would work better next time.
All in all, we were at the distillery for around 3 hours. This included two Three Rivers Gin and Tonics, two cocktails and of course, making our own 700cl bottle of gin. You also receive a tote bag which contains a bottle of the tonic water, which was specially selected, to compliment the original Three Rivers Gin.
For £95 the experience can stretch the purse strings, but the experience is perfect for a more subdued and sophisticated hen or stag night – just leave the dick straws at the door.
I was invited to take part in the gin experience by Three Rivers, but if you read my blog regularly you will know that I naturally love two things: a good narrative and a passionate independent business. Three Rivers Gin and the Manchester Distillery tick all the boxes.
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