The Elements of Flavour Part Two (Waiheke Island, NZ) 24 August 2024


Back by popular demand! Our Elements of Flavour workshops come to Waiheke Island this winter to enliven your senses. Join us for something truly special—a pair of workshops led by The Alembics Lab Founder Jill Mulvaney, that take you on a deep dive into the world of aroma and flavour.

Each workshop is a full day of exploration and experimentation dedicated to different materials and techniques:

  • Part One (Saturday 20th July) is dedicated to building flavour using water as your base (or solvent) and covers hydro and steam distillations, herbal honeys and zero ABV botanical drinks.
  • Part Two (Saturday 24th August) is dedicated to using alcohol as a conduit for flavour, and covers vapour-infusion techniques, gin-making and blending with quintessences (individual botanical extracts) and elixirs.

These workshops are for anyone interested in learning how to work with the building blocks of flavour—creating their own aromatic products, recipes and botanical blends. We will be using a variety of techniques and tools that will enable you to understand and use flavour in new ways. Choose your favourite day, or you can do both and get a discounted rate.

Location: Surfdale Hall (6 Hamilton Road, Waiheke Island 1081).


Saturday 24th August 2024 10am–4pm

Workshop Schedule:

Covers using alcohol as a solvent and how to work with it to build flavour. We’ll distil two different gins (using the vapour-infusion technique), learn how to structure classic and bespoke blends and explore the flavour profiles of different base spirits. Also includes blending with quintessences (individual botanicals extracts), and layering flavour with bitters and elixirs.

  • Introduction to the mighty ethanol molecule and its applications.
  • How to make a classic gin blend—creating a well-balanced gin recipe (for use in our first distillation).
  • How to create bespoke gin blends (the really fun part)—under the guidance of Jill Mulvaney the group will create a new blend using a wide array of classic, seasonal and experimental botanicals (for use in our second distillation).
  • We will demonstrate two vapour distillations using the blends we have made and two 3L copper appliance stills, taking you through the complete gin distillation process from start to finish.
  • Using our single vapour-distilled quintessences, practise your blending skills and make your own 30ml shot for a pre-lunch G&T.
  • Making a neutral spirit—Jill walks us through a demonstration of a small stripping run using a pre-prepared tomato paste/sugar wash.
  • Alcohol tasting—we sample and compare a wash or ferment, lactanol, grain spirit, and do a blind tasting of our sugar-based spirit against a typical store-bought vodka.
  • How to create new flavours—using our range of aromatic elixirs, wine and bitters to create cocktails and aperitifs.
  • Complete our gin distillations: Each person gets 30mls samples to take home.

**On purchasing you’ll receive a complimentary Distilling Alcohol Course so you are familiar with the process and the terms we will be using in this workshop (valued at $175). All our online courses come with lifetime access, so you can refer back to them whenever you need, making them a great learning resource. Feel free to explore your online course before or after your workshop with us.

Getting here: Ferry’s depart from downtown Auckland, and take approximately 45 minutes. If you are not staying on the island Friday night, we recommend the 8am ferry to arrive in plenty of time. You can bus to the venue—public buses depart from the ferry terminal at Matiatia. The Onetangi bus (50A or 50B) will go past the venue, ask your friendly driver where to get off if you are unsure.

Lunch: There is a French café and lunch bar in the nearby Surfdale shops (a 5 min walk) or bring your own picnic to enjoy in the garden or at the nearby beach.