Glorious Gin Making in Barcelona

In October, my best friend, Andre and I embarked on my first European journey.  We started off having a blast in Spain hitting Ibiza and Barcelona, then ended meeting my two friends, Thomas and Graham in London for the Seattle Seahawks v. Oakland Raiders game - yup, that's right...NFL in London!!  I'll tell y'all all about the different experiences in each city, but this one is about one of my favorite experiences - our Gin Making class in Barcelona!

As you know, I now work for Nestle (the world's largest food and beverage company), but regardless I am a food and beverage fiend.  I am so curious about beverages and how their made, how you make them taste so good and honestly - I like knowing what I'm drinking!  As for food....just feed me some good tasting food and I'm happy.

When planning Barcelona, I wanted to make sure Andre and I had the time of our lives.  We were obviously going to hit the amazing nightlife that Barcelona has to offer (which didn't disappoint).  Typically, Andre is the one planning the trip, but this time it was in my hands and I had to make sure we did some cool stuff.  So, as I searched around the internet, I went to Airbnb Experiences and found a dope Gin making class.  I immediately booked it.  No questions asked, then I texted Andre to let him know I booked us a class and it was going to be lit.

Now, if you know me, you know I am a huge gin lover.  My roommate and best friend, Thomas can attest for my love for a Hendricks and Tonic (and everyone can attest for it being a good night too).  So once I came across this class, it was like a calling for me.

The Class

We walk up to the square in Barcelona by the Central Market for our class and get slightly lost walking around.  First off, everything is in Catalon, which I do not speak at all and then the only English sign is a cooking class.  So, Andre and I head up towards the cooking class, knock on the door, where a lady greets us and then sent us towards the correct spot - hallelujah everyone in Spain is so nice!  We finally find our class and end up meeting an American, Bryan, who ran the class.

Bryan served in the American Army and traveled the world for a good amount of time.  He settled in Barcelona and now is starting up a gin company, so they offer gin making classes to tourists and the people of Barcelona.  Barcelona's gin community is growing and while it's nearly impossible to obtain a license to sell liquor in Barcelona, Bryan is going to make it happen.  Okay - back to the class.

Andre and I show up and luckily enough, we were the only two scheduled for class that day!  How perfect.  Not only do we get to learn how to make gin, but we also get basically a one-on-one class with a gin maker.

Bryan walked us through all the ingredients in gin, what makes gin, and the distilling process to make gin - while also treating us to a gin & tonic.  Then, we got to dive into making our own gin.  The gin making process is really fun, but intricate.  You have to add in all of your ingredients and boil it at the right temperature to boil the alcohol in your mixture, but not the water.  From there, the boiled alcohol goes through this crazy contraption that cools and condenses the vapor down, which gives you your alcohol.  SO CRAZY.

I look like I know what I’m doing….right?

I look like I know what I’m doing….right?

Andre and I both got to choose 1 of 4 gins that Bryan makes, for ease of taste without messing it up, to make our own.  I chose my favorite tasting gin we had on the day, while Andre chose the most complex one.  We went on distilling then ended up coming out with our gin!  I named mine, Gary's Gin and boy was it good!  We had such a great time with Bryan that we ended up meeting in a cool speakeasy that I'll talk about in a later post more on Barcelona!

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What an experience!  I can't wait to go back to Spain - it was so magical.  If you ever plan on going to Barcelona, then I recommend taking the 2 hours to spend with Bryan at his, Gin, Glorious Gin class and learn how to make gin!

Do you know the only ingredient that is the difference between gin and vodka?  Juniper.  I didn't know this before the class, but now I get to sound like I'm an expert (lol).  Cheers y'all!

-Chase