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Make your own gin

The Gold Coast just keeps getting better and better and it’s all thanks to the passionate locals who want exactly that for our lovely little beachside city.

Some of the most passionate locals around are the Ridden family, owners of the Gold Coast’s first gin distillery, Granddad Jacks who are currently in the process of distilling their first batch of whiskey and have started brewing beer too. Busy bunch.

Their most recent offering to the lucky people of the Gold Coast though, is a Make your own Gin experience and let it be known, it is one experience you won’t soon forget. Only six people take part in each session and it’s $200 each.

Not only do you get to take home your very own bottle of gin, you will also have an absolute time making it exactly as Luke, Dave and the team at Granddad Jacks do. But in a miniature version you can take home.

From the beginning though, allow us to walk you through what will happen if you treat yourself to a spot at the bench.

If you aren’t aware, Granddad Jack is Dave’s Granddad, a man of many talents, after whom the distillery is named and for whom we are very grateful (because we got a sweet distillery due to his undying love of whiskey).

So the experience starts with a tour (and a gin and tonic), Dave takes you through, telling stories about Granddad Jacks entrepreneurial ventures trying to keep his family farm afloat and showing vintage images of the man himself with his beloved family. You’ll learn about the process of building the industrial-style space with ALL recycled materials, how the first batch of whiskey is coming along and you’ll see a few of Granddad Jack’s mementos and the stories behind his love of each one. It’s a beautiful story and one that will make you feel fully immersed in the families’ history. Which is, of course, the point.

Next up, Luke will show you the process of distilling spirits then he’ll get you to taste a few gins (straight up) to discern the differences in flavours and processes of production. Then it’s to the bench for science time.

You’ll be seated in front of your own still and Luke will talk you through the technicalities of what you’re about to do then you’ll pour ethanol into the still to begin the process. You then get to weigh out the botanicals you’ll use to flavour your gin and there are MANY options to choose from.

Just quietly, lemongrass, lemon rind and rosehip are a winning combination but you may choose your own adventure if you don’t like winning.

Several more critical steps then need to happen including adding the botanicals to the liquid, draining out the first part of liquid (the heads) getting to the hearts (actual term) which is the good stuff, measuring alcohol content, eating pizza (part of the workshop cost) and finally, bottling your precious gin baby, complete with the name you’ve chosen for your tipple.

There’s a couple more gin and tonics thrown into the mix and a tasting competition at the end of the night, and then you get to go on your merry way with your personalised bottle of gin under your arm.

Not only that, the winner of your night will be in the running to have a batch made and sold within the distillery.

To sum up; you get to enjoy one of the most fun nights ever with the Granddad Jacks crew, learn and practice the exact art of gin making and take home your very own concoction.

So great. Tickets to the first experience will be released this week so make sure you grab one.

LOCATION: 43 Lemana Lane, Miami
WHEN: One Thursday night per month from 6pm to 10pm

Words by Kirra Smith. Images by Desert Island Media.

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