The Gin Making Process
Our gin is complex and unique in both its flavour profile and distillation techniques. We start with a total of 10 botanicals; added at different stages of the process because some flavours profiles are extracted in different ways at changing temperatures. Classic botanicals including Angelica, Orange and Coriander (and obviously Juniper) give the true body to our gin while our more unique botanicals such as Celery Seed and Pink Peppercorn add slightly savoury but warm spicy notes making our gin really stand out from the crowd.
Our unique spirits are produced by our pride and joy, “Lily”. She is a 400 litre copper pot still, handcrafted for us in Galicia, Spain.
In the main body botanicals are soaked for 24 hours in a water/ethanol mixture to begin the flavour extraction process, after which the still is heated to just over 80 degrees C.
Because the boiling point of alcohol (78.37 degrees C) is lower than that of water (100 degrees C), the addition of alcohol drives down overall boiling point. As evaporation begins and the top of the still is cooler than the bottom a temperature gradient is established. The vapour condenses when it reaches the top of still and falls back down, this process of evaporation and condensation is called Reflux and helps to produce a smooth spirit.
Eventually the vapour rises through into a copper tube, known as the Lyne Arm where more flavour extraction occurs, this is through vapour infusion of light botanicals stored in a Gin Basket located halfway along the Lyne Arm. All the possible flavour has been extracted when the vapour reaches the worm tub – a traditional spiralled cooling system. It contains a copper coil which is a good conductor of heat and increases the surface area for heat transfer, immersed in cold water it turns our alcoholic vapour into liquid gin.
Finally the liquid gin cascades off the Parrot Spout, a specially shaped spout for collection. As Durham Gin is a London Dry Gin, only water is added at this stage to take it from 80% abv down to the more palatble bottling strength 40% abv.