Utah Bride and Groom

Gin Mixer: Bring the Booze to Your Rehearsal Dinner

Celebrate with an Alpine Distilling Gin Experience during a fabulous four-course dinner at 350 Main in historic Old Town Park City.

Of all the gin joints in all the world, I’m glad I walked into this one. So too, I believe, would rehearsal dinner guests or members of a bachelor or bachelorette party. After all, very few can say they’ve been walked through the gin-making experience. 

Alpine Distilling makes this possible at 350 Main in Park City where distillery founder Rob Sergent explains gin and—party favor!—helps you select botanicals to flavor your own take-home bottle of gin. They distill it while you enjoy a four-course dinner by 350 Main’s chef Matt Safranek.  

The dinner is limited to eight to twelve guests, because that’s all the stovetop distillery equipment Alpine owns. The set-ups are, to put it in girly terms for such gents apparatus—adorable. Each little copper alembic produces a bottle of gin. Kind of like a Mr. Coffee for gin.

Meanwhile, guests are given four shot glasses of different gins, taste the differences (if they can) and compare them to ‘aroma sticks,’ each one a different pure smell. It’s like a dinner-party guessing game—you try to identify the pure aromas as you sip each gin.

Not surprisingly, this gets harder and harder.

Of course, the main flavoring in gin is—and by regulation must be—juniper. But anyone who’s tasted gins as different as Ransom’s Old Tom and Tanqueray knows there’s more to it than one evergreen bush.

We chose flavorings from maybe a dozen jars filled with juniper berries, cardamom, anise and other botanicals, mixed it up, stuck our noses in it, adjusted for balance and turned it over with our bottle to the distiller equipped with a nifty countertop still. 

At different steps during the process, we were served a thimbleful of our gin so we could taste the different stages along the way to the final product. The evening, the experience and the food were unforgettable. Who knew making gin could be as much fun as celebrating with it?

“At the end of the evening, we seal the bottles and label them with the names, date, and ingredients for guests to take home,” explains 350 Main’s owner, Cortney Johansen.

 

Mary Brown Malouf

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