A Gin Making Class in Barcelona with Corpen

A Gin Making Class in Barcelona with Corpen

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Gin is hot in Barcelona.  Restaurants and bars all over the city are serving up beautiful gin and tonics, in bucket-like goblets to be devoured by willing punters.  And now you can even make your own gin in Barcelona.  My friend Brian and his business partner Pablo have developed their own gin distilling business, Corpen Distillers, and offer the chance for you to learn all about this delicious spirit, try several of their recipes in the gin tasting, and to make your own gin in their gin making course.  Corpen’s 3-hour gin making class in Barcelona has even been named as one of the top Airbnb Experiences in the world, by Travel + Leisure magazine!  Despite earning this accolade, Corpen’s gin making class remains one of the best-kept secrets in Barcelona, so don’t miss it!

Some of the ingredients needed to make your own gin at Corpen Barcelona
Some of the ingredients needed to make your own gin at Corpen Barcelona

What is Gin, and how do you make Gin?

OK know-it-alls, I had no idea what gin is made of, and was surprised to discover that gin is made from vodka.  Confused?  So how is gin made from vodka?  Well, in order to make gin, you need to start with a pure, flavourless spirit – vodka.  You then mix and infuse the spirit with various botanicals (flavours like juniper berries, coriander seeds, citrus peel and eucalyptus) and distil the alcohol.  All gin recipes have to have juniper berries, and basically, the rest is up to you!   Once the alcohol has evaporated in the still, leaving behind the bulk of the botanicals, it condenses again to leave you with a delicately flavoured alcohol we know and love.  Gin.

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Corpen Barcelona Gin Distillery

In a world where beer lovers are creating micro brews left, right and centre, Brian and Pablo have taken on a different challenge, to create beautiful homemade gin.  Their business began as an experiment, distilling various flavours to see if they could create a tasty gin recipe.  Now Corpen have three delicious recipes that they use in the class, and they are always working on new flavours.

Copper gin still and equipment to make your own gin at the gin making course in Barcelona with Corpen
Copper gin still and equipment to make your own gin at the gin making course in Barcelona

The Gin Making Course in Barcelona

Distilling gin really isn’t as difficult as I had expected, although obviously, you do need certain specialist equipment to distil the gin.  And of course, all the hard work was done by Brian and Pablo refining the gin recipes!

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The gin class is held right in the centre of town, next to Plaça Reial just off La Rambla.  After introductions, Brian served us up a gin cocktail welcome drink, and began to explain the background of Corpen Barcelona, and of gin in general.  Also on my course were an American couple on their honeymoon; the gin class is more popular with tourists as they only advertise it on Airbnb Experiences, but the gin making class would also make a great gift for a special occasion for anyone living in Barcelona.  Corpen also offer the classes in Spanish, as Pablo is originally from Colombia.

Brian serving up a gin and tonic during our the gin making class in Barcelona with Corpen Distillers
Brian serving up a gin and tonic during our the gin making class in Barcelona with Corpen Distillers

Once we’d learned the basics of the theory of how to make gin, it was now time to get down to business!  Brian poured out a small sample of three homemade gin recipes to taste.  We then each chose our favourite, and this would be the one we would make.  Also, to make sure we had made the right choice, Brian served us up a gin and tonic made from our favourite gins.

Pausing for snacks during our the gin distilling class in Barcelona with Corpen Distillers
Pausing for snacks during our the gin distilling class in Barcelona with Corpen Distillers

He then gave us each our recipes to make the gin.  We carefully measured out the ingredients and popped them into our own personal stills (except the eucalyptus which was left to infuse in some vodka), and while we waited for the vodka to absorb some of the flavours we had some yummy snacks.  When the infusing time was up, we began to heat up the vodka and botanicals, and watched carefully with stopwatches to check when the still reached certain temperatures, and when the distilled gin began to drip out of the other end.

Distilled gin dripping out into beakers
Distilled gin dripping out into beakers

The smell of alcohol filled the room – and Brian pointed out that lighting matches right now would be a bad idea!  I hadn’t thought about how flammable alcohol was, and Brian explained where the word ‘proof’ came from, when the sailors wanted proof that their alcohol on the ship hadn’t been tampered with, they would light some on fire to prove it was pure!

Brian showing how to measure the alcohol content and temperature of our homemade gin
Brian showing how to measure the alcohol content and temperature of our homemade gin

It took surprisingly little time to distil the gin, and in a little over half an hour we had several beakers filled with the clear, flavourful gin.  We took measurements of the temperature and alcohol content, to determine the exact percentage of our homemade gin, and poured it into a bottle to label and take home with us.  I named mine ‘Hair of the Dog’ as I was suffering a little from the previous night’s debauchery.  It was very cool to have in my hand my very own gin!

There was enough gin left over to make another gin and tonic (although I sadly had to decline due to my worsening hangover) and we all took photos of our creations.

 My homemade gin and recipe from the gin making class with Corpen Distillers in Barcelona
My homemade gin and recipe from the gin making class with Corpen Distillers in Barcelona

Details of the Gin Making Class in Barcelona

You can find all the details about the gin class on their Airbnb Experiences page or check them out on Instagram.

The class is for over 18s only.

The maximum class size is six people, to allow for lots of personal attention and help when you are making the gin.  Larger groups interested in the class should contact Brian and Pablo to see if they could host a larger group.

The class usually takes between three to three and a half hours, so plan accordingly.

We had a welcome cocktail, and two gin and tonics, as well as the tastings, so you may well leave the class feeling rather tipsy!

Your homemade gin will be in a 250ml bottle, but if you need to put it in hand-luggage you can ask for smaller bottles.

A proud moment - My homemade gin from the gin making class with Corpen Distillers in Barcelona
A proud moment – My homemade gin from the gin making class with Corpen Distillers in Barcelona

What I loved about the Gin Making Class with Corpen Barcelona

The gin!  Obviously, this class is a fabulous gin experience, and I loved how we could choose our favourite recipe to make.  Corpen don’t scrimp on the drinks either, so for three drinks and tastings, and snacks, I felt the class was excellent value for money.

Anything I didn’t like?

What is not to like?  I loved the class, and how much I learned about gin and the history of alcohol in general.  I would highly recommend the class for any gin lovers who fancy doing something a bit different on their vacation to Barcelona.

Do you want to book a gin making class in Barcelona with Corpen?  If you have never used Airbnb before, use this link for a discount off your first stay (not applicable with experiences, unfortunately!).

GET $30 AIRBNB CREDIT

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Corpen Distillers offer the chance for you to learn all about gin, and to make your own gin in their gin distillery class.  Corpen's 3-hour gin making class in Barcelona has even been named as one of the top Airbnb Experiences in the world, by Travel + Leisure magazine! #Gin #Ginlovers #Barcelona #Gintasting #Spain #Catalonia #Cocktails #GinMaking #ThingstodoinBarcelona #Travel #Foodanddrink #alcohol

My gin making class was complimentary, but as always, all opinions are my own, and the fact I loved the class clearly influenced my review!

Just to let you know, this post may contain paid or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you!

Tales of a Backpacker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  I only recommend goods and services I believe are useful and reliable.

Last updated: July 2, 2018
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12 thoughts on “A Gin Making Class in Barcelona with Corpen

  1. Gin is not only hot in Barcelona, it’s very hip everywhere. I didn’t know it was made from Vodka – and actually never thought about it. I just knew that this particular taste and smell comes from these berries. Anyway, I think it’s a great class and I would definitely like to do it. I would like to compose a really unique drink (oh my gosh, that already sound dangerous….)

  2. This looks like a really fun experience! I’m not a big fan of gin, but I would love to make my own and take it home as a souvenir. This is such a great idea and I didn’t know gin was made of vodka either!

  3. First of all, Congratulations to Brian and Pablo for opening their own distillery! The Gin Making class sounds quite fascinating to me. I loved those copper pots and would love to learn it, whenever I get a chance. Thanks for sharing

  4. Congrats to Brian and Pablo for opening their own distillery! So cool! Corpen Distillers sounds like they put on a really fabulous gin making class – I would love to give it a go when I visit Barcelona again. I had no idea that gin was made from vodka – what!!! Sounds like it’s a lot of fun, and I love that the classes are kept small, makes it feel more intimate which I prefer 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  5. This is something both Nikki and I would enjoy doing. Hey, I did not know you have to use Vodka to make Gin. I agree with you as well, I think locals would love to do this class if they get to know about it. I love that the classes are small and personal attention afforded to make for a better experience. I’m in.

  6. This looks like a really cool experience, I also had no idea gin was made from vodka but this reminds me a little of chemistry classes in school. It looks fun

  7. I really love the combination of history and hands on experience Corpen offered. There is significant cultural experience tied into spirits that this seems like a perfect way to connect with country. Great hint about locals taking the class too. I think far too many people forget about how much fun it can be experiencing your home city as a tourist.

  8. Its only recently I got into drinking gin after doing a gin class in london. Would love to do this again and Barcelona seems to be the ideal location.

  9. Wow Claire! It’s so cool that you know someone who has his own gin distilling business! Unfortunately I’m allergic to alcohol. Otherwise I’d love to try make a little bottle of gin for Kerstin. But I guess I won’t be able to stay in the class until the end, because as soon as the smell of alcohol fills the room, I’ll be drop dead! 🙁 BUT: I’ll tell Kerstin about this, I’m sure she’ll like to make her own gin on our next visit in Barcelona. 🙂

  10. I have always wanted to learn how to make alcohol. I have attended beer brewing classes. Should try my hand at gin now! And what better place than Barcelona!

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