The last time I was in the Barrowlands, was to see Lenny Kravitz in 1990 something. Little did I expect Crossbill’s Hatchery to be in such a cool place, at the Barras Art and Design. I was over the moon to be invited along to the gin school for an afternoon of gin-making.
The people at Crossbill Gin are very proud of their handcrafted gin. And rightly so. It is, as they put it “celebration of juniper and rosehip, two bold and fresh Highland botanicals”. Their passion to create a gin with 100% Scottish botanicals has resulted in a unique and wonderful small-batch gin.
And that passion for gin-making is evident when you visit the Hatchery for a gin-making class. In the course of an afternoon you will learn about the distillation process, test and select your botanicals, create a botanical basket, then distill your very own gin in a miniature copper pot still. Finally your bottle will be labelled with your bespoke design and you get to the all-important tasting.
On my visit, Jonathan Engels, Crossbill founder, distiller and teacher, gave us a great introduction to making your own gin. Jonathan is so passionate about what he does, you can’t help but be swept up in it and we listened intently as he explained the process from picking the juniper right through to bottling.
Then, the fun part – we were let loose on our own table top stills, with an array of botanicals, herbs and fruit to play with in making our own gin.
My recipe ended up looking more like a curry recipe, which incidentally is my favourite food, but surprisingly tasted quite lovely. I named it Road to Ruin, in a nod to Hogarth. Is it as good as Crossbill, not on your nelly!
An excellent day out or gift for any gin lover, I feel like a true gin afficianado having made my own gin at the Hatchery.
Alison Higgins, Brand Ambassador, The Scottish Gin Society
Find out more about the Crossbill Hatchery here