When Dave Rigby made his first foray into gin-making, he was armed with a clear idea of what he wanted to produce – and a 25-50 litre still. It wasn’t long before he realised that to truly realise his vision, it wasn’t going to cut the mustard.
Fast forward four years and as Manchester Three Rivers Gin prepares to make its Imbibe Live debut, Rigby speaks to us from Manchester’s first ever gin distillery, where Three Rivers is now distilled in a custom Holstein copper pot still, where cinnamon, almond, vanilla and cardamom combine to give it its distinctive mid-palate and oats impart a creamy mouthfeel.
This complex flavour profile – which Rigby created in pursuit of ‘the fine wine of gin’ – is of two factors which were crucial to Rigby, the other being the distillery itself; particularly the desire to build it in the city centre, where it now stands.
‘We wanted to create a physical space so people can come and put us to the test,’ he says. ‘We felt like we had to have an open door…one of the things I say is that I’ll tell you my recipe, and you’re welcome to see if you can make it better!’
The university lecturer-cum-distiller wanted to create a craft gin which didn’t rely so heavily on juniper and citrus as other variants on the market – and to do it in a place where people could truly engage with the process. That’s why he gave us a clue as to what’s in store for Three Rivers at their first Imbibe Live appearance. ‘We’ll be bringing a little bit of the distillery with us – but that’s all I can say right now!’ he says.
We hope we get to try these delicious sounding suggested G&Ts – with fresh cherries for summer, combining with the almond vanilla for Bakewell vibes, or a fragrant serve of gin-soaked dried apricots and rosemary.
Visit stand A106 to see what’s in store