Two Birds Spirits
In 2013, Two Birds Spirits became one of the first small-batch gin distillers in the UK to get a licence, making it an early bird in the recent gin revolution. Based in Market Harborough, it produces three carefully crafted gins and a range of flavoured vodkas. These are made in “Gerard”, the handmade copper still, which makes just 100 bottles at a time. Although the team do everything by hand (including adding the bottle caps, which is strangely satisfying to watch), this is a slick operation and it produces outstanding gins.
Two Birds was built on the desire to create a great-tasting, traditional London Gin. This was achieved after much trial and testing. The signature London Gin uses juniper and just four other botanicals. Try it and you’ll get flavours of juniper (all gin must have juniper as the predominant flavour), coriander, citrus and orris root, plus a secret ingredient known only to them. They have also created a slightly sweeter Old Tom gin, which makes the perfect classic Martini, and a Speciality Cocktail Gin which, as the name implies, is ideal for cocktails as it has extra juniper to maintain the flavour when mixed. There is also an extensive range of Two Birds flavoured vodkas including salted caramel, passionfruit, raspberry and after-dinner mint, plus a potent absinthe. Two Birds sources as many ingredients as possible from the UK.
An excellent way to understand more about gin in general and Two Birds in particular is to attend its Gin Masterclass. Expertly run in the beautifully designed workshop by “Ginstructor” Simon, the three-hour session covers the history and process of gin distilling. You’ll then make a 70cl bottle of gin to your own recipe. You can choose from over 50 botanicals, from tea and thyme to bee pollen and hibiscus flowers, and the fun is in deciding on the overall style and balance of the individual flavours. Simon gives guidance on your recipe suggestion and the recommended quantities of each botanical, but you distil your own recipe in your own mini-still and then take the 70cl bottle home. The session is accompanied by a lot of gin tasting, so take a driver to get you – and your precious gin – home.
By Anna Forgaard, regional editor
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