Ten members and partners headed to Laverstoke Mill for a tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
Situated on the River Test, the mill is a former paper mill that has been much extended over the years to the extensive range of buildings, many of which are listed, that we see today.
We were welcomed with a glass of the gin of our choice and tonic, a very welcome departure from morning coffee with a very big risk that it could become habit-forming!
Following a brief film explaining the origins of Bombay Sapphire, the tour took us outside to view the buildings that included a row of old workers cottages and two amazing, state of the art, bio-domes – sort of arty greenhouses! These housed an array of exotic plants as an example of the botanicals used in the gin.
The main building houses two massive copper stills, Victoria and Henry, that together produce 60,000 litres of double strength gin every 24 hours! We subsequently saw two smaller stills that were producing another 16,000 litres.
The process of infusion was explained and demonstrated to us with some practical work sniffing various botanicals to identify our own personal preferences.
The event ended in the bar where even the non-alcoholic drinks were a tour de force.
A great excursion and many thanks to John Brace for setting it up.