We tried Norwich's new gin making experience in the Royal Arcade

Ben Hardy, Grace Courtney-Tucker and Maya Derrick at the opening of the Gyre and Gimble gin academy

Ben Hardy, Grace Courtney-Tucker and Maya Derrick at the opening of the Gyre and Gimble gin academy in the Royal Arcade - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Gyre and Gimble's brand-new gin making academy is the latest addition to Norwich's Royal Arcade.

With glimmering copper stills and shelves stocked high with botanicals and spirits, the store lends itself to the history of its home in the renowned shopping strip.

Maya Derrick and Georgie Taylor from the Evening News team headed down for a taste of the action - literally. 

Gyre and Gimble's gin academy in Norwich's Royal Arcade

Gyre and Gimble's gin academy in Norwich's Royal Arcade - Credit: Maya Derrick

Step 1

We were greeted at the academy by boss and master distiller Craig Allison, who lead our masterclass.

Craig Allison, owner of Gyre and Gimble, hosting a class at the new gin academy in Norwich's Royal Arcade

Craig Allison, owner of Gyre and Gimble, hosting a class at the new gin academy in Norwich's Royal Arcade - Credit: Maya Derrick

In the blink of an eye an ice-cool G&T - made with Gyre and Gimble's coastal gin - was in our hands, and we were guided to our mini stilling stations.

Craig then quickly walked us through the process and we got cracking.

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Step 2

Armed with a G&T and Gyre and Gimble's list of botanicals, Craig tasked us with picking the flavours we wanted from our gins.

Georgie Taylor dreaming up her own gin - aptly named Gin and Bear It - at a gin-making masterclass with Gyre and Gimble

Georgie Taylor dreaming up her own gin - aptly named Gin and Bear It - at a gin-making masterclass with Gyre and Gimble - Credit: Maya Derrick

Gyre and Gimble stocks tens of botanicals to choose from to make your gin truly unique

Gyre and Gimble stocks tens of botanicals to choose from to make your gin truly unique - Credit: Georgie Taylor

Juniper, coriander seed and Angelica root were essential, but with an array of citrus powerhouses and pungent spices to herbal undertones and sweet teas to choose from - and measure - the combinations were endless.

Step 3

Now feeling like some sort of alcohol scientist, we precisely measured our ingredients, noting down our quantities.

Georgie Taylor from the Evening News ​​​​​​​measuring out her botanicals

Georgie Taylor from the Evening News measuring out her botanicals, armed with a Gyre and Gimble gin and tonic - Credit: Maya Derrick

Georgie's botanicals, ready to be added to her still 

Georgie's botanicals, ready to be added to her still - Credit: Georgie Taylor

This is important so the gin specialists know exactly what concoction we've made, and so they can recreate it for us if we want another bottle.

We then sipped on Gyre and Gimble's London dry gin prepared for the next step.

Step 4

We combined our neutral spirit, water and our botanicals in our copper still, which we placed onto a hot plate.

Spirit seeping from Maya's copper still at Gyre and Gimble's gin making experience

Spirit seeping from Maya's copper still at Gyre and Gimble's gin making experience - Credit: Maya Derrick

Once the contraption hit around 80 degrees, a new liquid started to seep out into the beaker below. This is the first layer of our new gin.

Step 5

The first taste time. We ran our finger under the stream of liquid - as more of the good stuff started to come out it tasted different, as the botanicals came into their own.

Step 6

Once we'd collected all of our spirit from the still, we sampled the brand's Queen of Hearts cherry gin before grabbing our bottle and a funnel to harvest the fruits of our labour, ready to take home.

Gyre and Gimble's Queen of Hearts cherry gin, poured by boss Craig Allison

Gyre and Gimble's Queen of Hearts cherry gin, poured by boss Craig Allison - Credit: Maya Derrick

Evening News reporter Maya Derrick pouring her finished gin into a bottle to take home

Evening News reporter Maya Derrick pouring her finished gin into a bottle to take home - Credit: Georgie Taylor

Craig reappeared with a crock pot of melted wax, which we dipped the neck of our bottles in to seal them.

Step 7

After writing the name of our gin and the botanicals onto a label, we stuck it to our bottle and ta dah! The process was complete.

We finished off the class with some indulgent goodies from Royal Arcade neighbour Artisan Chocolates by Saffire, which were made with Gyre and Gimble gin and vodka.

The class finished with some Artisan Chocolates by Saffire goodies, made with Gyre and Gimble gin and vodka

The class finished with some Artisan Chocolates by Saffire goodies, made with Gyre and Gimble gin and vodka - Credit: Maya Derrick

Georgie Taylor and Maya Derrick after making their own gin with Gyre and Gimble in the Royal Arcade, Norwich

The Evening News' Georgie Taylor and Maya Derrick after making their own gin with Gyre and Gimble in the Royal Arcade, Norwich - Credit: Georgie Taylor

To book a gin making masterclass with Gyre and Gimble, visit: gyreandgimble.co.uk/experiences.

Maya and Georgie's gin

Fancy making your own? Here's what Maya and Georgie used to make their one-of-a-kind creations.

Gin and Bear It gin, made by Georgie Taylor of the Evening News at Gyre and Gimble's gin academy in Norwich's Royal Arcade

Gin and Bear It gin, made by Georgie Taylor of the Evening News at Gyre and Gimble's gin academy in Norwich's Royal Arcade - Credit: Georgie Taylor

Maya's 'Kindred Spirit' gin

  • 9g of juniper berries
  • 5g of coriander seeds
  • 0.5g of Angelica root
  • 0.4g of elderflower
  • 0.3g of lavender
  • 0.2g of pink pepper
  • 0.3g of bay leaf
  • 0.4g of liquorice root
  • 0.5g of grapefruit peel

Georgie's 'Gin and Bear It'

  • 9g of juniper berries
  • 5g of coriander seeds
  • 0.5g of Angelica root
  • 1g of grapefruit peel
  • 1/2 a kaffir lime leaf
  • 0.2g pink pepper
  • 0.2g of liquorice root