shep@tone-photographer

I’ve always steered away from the obvious comparisons between me and 50 Cent, but it’s a lot harder now that I’m a gin mogul.

I say mogul, but I’m perhaps not quite there yet. But I do have my own recipe for a gin which is available to purchase online by the bottle.

At the risk of diminishing my mogul credentials further, you can become one, too, courtesy of the Manchester Three Rivers Gin Experience.

Like me, you may not know that there’s a gin distillery in Manchester city centre – and a pretty cool one at that.

The tour is a fun, interesting and gin-drenched dabble around the drink’s history, right through to a demonstration of the distilling process, culminating in you creating your very own recipe.

I’ve been on a few drink-based tours and events where I learnt about the history of gin and other spirits, but thanks to a fantastic animated video to help chronicle and visualise the journey, the detail from this one has stuck a little more to the extent that I’ll probably become a woeful bore at dinner parties.

During the video, which is screened on the wall of an incredibly impressive archway space near the Green Quarter, you get drinks and cocktails to accompany the narrative, which is a really nice touch.

Next up, you head down to the main engine room and a beautifully steampunk copper distillery named Angel, where the surprisingly simple-yet-fiddly process is laid out in the context of the machine before you in a really palatable way.

So far, dead good. But the main part of the tour is the opportunity to mix your own combination of botanicals so you can join me and 50 Cent as bona fide booze moguls.

To do this you go a couple of doors down to an adjoining space which looks amazing. The mini-copper distilleries at each station along with the shelves of raw botanicals in jars give the place a Sherlock Holmesy feel, but with added iPads.

The iPads are there to help you choose your perfect mix of botanicals from a list, like citrus, spice, herbs etc. Once you have gone through the fun process of finding and measuring your ingredients, you then make, bottle, label and take home your own recipe, which you can then reorder at any point from their website.

I’ve named my creation Sir, Please Put Your Trousers Back On. It features lemongrass, almond, cola nuts, chilli flakes, liquorice and rosehip, and is available to purchase now.

The whole tour is a great night out for mates, dates, or general gin enthusiasts, and I can’t recommend it enough. But please be aware that I’m the new gin mogul around these parts.

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Media/content/creative person by day, media/content/creative wang by night. I write food and drink stuff, whimsy, complaint letters. Likes: Skittles, dogs, Dyson hand dryers. Dislikes: Spiders, writing about myself, people who aren’t alarmed by spiders.

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