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Our Story

It all began with the simple idea to move our popular workshops online.

The Alembics Lab is the online learning space created by Jill Mulvaney, founder of Alembics New Zealand—an industry-leading distillation and extraction business.

Our goal is to show people just how accessible it is to distil yourself, starting with what you have around you.

Our Courses

Accessible, practical and fun

The Alembics Lab brings the three pillars of aromatic distillation together under one roof—hydrosols, essential oils, and alcohol. These techniques are the gateways to working with natural flavour and aroma.

We’ve designed our courses for anyone who wants to learn how to distil at home, or in their business or practice. If you are just getting started we can guide you through which still to use, and show you proper set up and cleaning protocols. For those of you already distilling we’ll open up new directions for you to explore, and expand your knowledge and practice.

Shot on location at our Alembics Lab on Waiheke Island, New Zealand—our courses are accessible, practical and fun. You can start today.


Jill Mulvaney

Founder & Head Distiller

Jill Mulvaney is distiller, extractor and blender of aromatics, with over 25 years of experience. She teaches and consults on all aspects of plant extraction, aroma, and natural flavour. Jill also develops ideas and products for a wide range of industries, and is behind a number of award-winning gins.

Jill is passionate about the character of plants, the alchemical wonder of distillation, and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. Her formative years, growing up on an isolated farm in Hawkes Bay, her recent teaching partnerships with internationally renowned phytochemists and aromatic distillers in Europe and America, and her experience distilling New Zealand and Australian natives, forms the basis of her deep engagement with the natural world—which remains her greatest inspiration.


Adam Sparks

Guest Lecturer

Adam Sparks is a professional brewer and distillation consultant. He’s an expert in brewing with grains and the art and science of fermentation. In The Alembics Lab’s Grain to Glass Masterclass, Adam takes you on a deep dive into the world of whisky—and beyond. Adam works as a consultant across the beverage industry, with a particular passion for the development of American-style whisky and rum. When not working he enjoys being a dad, over-proofing sourdough bread, wild-fermenting pickles and making questionable music in his home studio.

Benoit Roger

Guest Lecturer

Benoit is a Canadian-based phytochemist, and the CEO of Alchemia Solutions, a company dedicated to the research and exploration of the plant world. His work involves teaching workshops, consulting on distillation start-ups, and the design and production of top-quality stainless steel stills and equipment. He holds a PhD in Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France, and combines this knowledge of plant chemistry, essential oils, the processes and production of equipment with a deep love of plants.

Valmai Becker

Guest Lecturer

Valmai is a founder and teacher at Phytofarm, a Herbal Learning Centre in Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. She is a naturopath and professional member of New Zealand Association Medical Herbalists, and is an experienced educator—Valmai was co-owner and director of the Canterbury College of Natural Medicine for 17 years. The development of Phytofarm, and passing on her knowledge of medicinal plants is now her primary focus.

The Alembics Lab Team

Jess Culpan

Content writer & editor

Jess is our writer and editor. She advises on course content and manages written resources for all our courses and projects. She has a BA LLB from Otago University in New Zealand, and has worked in legal and trade publishing, as well as PR. In a past life Jess was a press secretary for a minister of the Crown in the NZ Government. Her special areas are distilling spirits, and making her own gin.

Bonnie Harris

Assistant teacher

Bonnie teaches workshops with Jill. She’s worked in Lark Distillery in Hobart, Tasmania, described as ‘the first (legal) craft distillery in Australia since the age of whalers, sealers and scallywags’. She has been drawn to plants her whole life, spending time in the wilderness of Alaska before her work at Alembics. Bonnie’s interest in aromatic distillation is centered on what plants can teach us about our own well being, and that of our planet.

Fernando Gru

Product Development

Fernando works with us on product development for aromatic spirits and zero ABV drinks. He brings more than 20 years experience working in gastronomy and a fascination for flavour and mixology. Fernando’s passion for new ingredients, techniques and traditions has led him all around the world—from South America and Europe to New Zealand, as well both Antarctic and Arctic expeditions.

Rowena Baines


Rowena Baines is a New Zealand-based independent filmmaker. She has a Masters in documentary filmmaking from Otago University, and has had numerous documentaries accepted for international Film Festivals. It’s Rowena’s skills, passion and keen eye that lie behind all The Alembics Lab video content—all filmed on Waiheke Island.

Distillation Products

As used in our courses—You can find a range of copper alembic stills, and distillation equipment from our Alembics store.

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