After a good night’s rest, a rigorous workout in the gym, a swim in the hotel pool, followed by a hearty breakfast, Mel and I strolled down to Salcombe Distilling Co. to learn the art of distilling gin. Gin, you may have noticed has made a huge appearance on the drinks scene in the last few years. It made an even bigger impact on co-owners Howard and Angus, who decided to take matters a step further and open their own distillery in this part of world, and thus Salcombe Gin was born in 2014.
With gin’s ever-growing popularity, it’s no wonder lovers of this spirit want to learn more about it, so the Salcombe Distillery Co. offer gin lessons. Under the guidance of an expert distiller, the school offers adult lessons in their laboratory which involves taking control of a mini copper pot to develop and distil your very own 70cl bottle of the spirit. During our session, head distiller Jason Nickels took our group under his wing and talked us through producing a well-balanced and harmonious gin.
Mel and I had fun experimenting with 12 citrus, floral, herbal and spicy botanicals to put in our juniper-led concoction. While we waited for the gin to work its magic in the copper pot, we came up with our personalised label of ‘Sabs Mello Gin’. I swear I haven’t had this much fun in a laboratory before. To top it, Jason gave us the thumbs up for producing a winning recipe.
The food scene in this area is second to none with cosy foodie pubs, traditional tearooms, great restaurants and everything in-between serving wholesome Devon produce. There just wasn’t enough time to sample all of them. I can, however, highly recommend the Dick and Wills Bar and Brasserie, which is located on one of the finest waterside locations, and delivers decent local produce from Salcombe crab to Westcountry Beef.