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 British gin revolution. Based in Market Harborough, they produce many carefully crafted gins, including their best-selling Strawberry & Vanilla Gin, Rhubarb Gin and a range of flavoured vodkas. These are made in “Gerard”, the handmade copper still, which produces just 100 bottles at a time. Although the team do everything by hand (including adding the bottle caps), this is a slick operation and it produces outstanding gins.
Two Birds were built on the desire to create a great-tasting, traditional London Gin. This was achieved after much trial and testing, and resulted in an internationally award-winning London Dry Gin. This signature gin uses juniper and just four other botanicals. Try it and you’ll get flavours of juniper, coriander, citrus and orris root, plus a secret ingredient known only to them. They have also created a slightly sweeter Old Tom Gin – a style originally made in 18th century England that makes the perfect classic Martini – plus a Speciality Cocktail Gin ideal for cocktails as it has extra juniper to maintain the flavour when mixed. There is an extensive range of Two Birds flavoured vodkas, too, including salted caramel, passionfruit, espresso, cherry & almond, raspberry and after-dinner mint, plus a potent absinthe and spiced rum! Two Birds source 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 their Gin Masterclass. Expertly run in the beautifully designed workshop by “Ginstructors” Simon and Gavin, the three-hour session covers the history and process of gin distilling. You’ll then distil a 70cl bottle of gin to your own recipe. You can choose from over 100 botanicals, from tea and thyme to bee pollen and hibiscus, and the fun is in deciding on the overall style and balance of the individual flavours. Simon and Gavin give 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.