My favourite day at Anno Distillers
25/05/20 - For English Tourism Week, Kim looks back to the Anno Gin Blending Experience
Support English Tourism Week, 25th - 31st May 2020
Kim looks back at the Anno Gin Blending Experience
Ever since I was young, I’ve always loved to experiment and get creative. I think it’s the main reason why I initially pursued a career in science and ended up working at a pharmaceutical company for some time. So, when I got the chance to go into our new distillery Gin Experience Lab to test run our ‘Blending Experience’ – a workshop where you get to design and make your own flavour of gin – it spoke to something inside of me and I couldn’t pass up the chance to try it out for myself.
For those who haven’t been fortunate to experience it yet, the Anno ‘Blending Experience’ began its life at Bluewater Shopping Centre in Anno’s pop-up Christmas shop. Here, in the store, we’d host gin enthusiasts and walk them through the subtleties of tastes and flavours (with a little taste testing of course!), explain a bit about how Anno’s gins are made, and then let them loose on all the different distilled botanical spirits so they could get a little crazy and make something to their own tastes.
But before we could let the customers get making the gin, we had to make sure it was fine-tuned and ready to give them the best experience possible. In order to do this, there was only one thing for it: a staff testing - just one of the perks of making spirits on a daily basis.
First up, our expert lead Ian (pictured), an Anno Brand Ambassador, gave us a quick distillery tour and talk through of the different ingredients we could use, from elderflower and blueberry to lime and liquorice. My tastes tend towards the fruity side of things and admittedly I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so my go-to flavour was strawberry as it also reminds me of the lovely Kent countryside in summer. Creative juices well and truly flowing, and maybe with a slight a hint of abv-induced influence from having sampled all of the flavours when deciding what to use, I went a little out of the box and mixed in some cocoa nibs and Old Tom syrup. To my delight, the taste was actually fairly good - not too sweet, not too chocolatey. Just like a gin making Goldilocks, it was just right (in my mind at least). Best of all, I added in a colour-changing butterfly pea flower, so when you add tonic to the gin it changes from a deep shade of blue to light pink before your very eyes. As part of the blending experience, you get to take home a bottle of your own concoction with bespoke label and mine now sits proudly in the drinks cabinet at home to this very day, ready to wow any house guests with its magical colour-changing properties. It’s at times like this one that I really do love my job and I count myself very lucky to work in an environment that allows my creative side to be unleashed!
Kim Reason, Sales and Marketing Manager, Anno Distillers.