Airbnb is a popular way to find a home away from home in almost every city worldwide. Often times, it gives you more space and amenities for half the cost of a hotel. It also offers a more personal connection than a hotel, giving users the opportunity to interact with a local host. Now that it’s made a name for itself, it’s expanding its services to experiences. An experience can be anything from making a traditional meal to a kayaking adventure. The experience is hosted by a local expert, bringing the connection even closer. We’ve used Airbnb regularly for the past few years during all of our travels, but we had our first Airbnb catered experience in Barcelona, distilling our own gin.
Here’s how our first Airbnb experience went:
Our experience, Gin, Glorious Gin, was put on by Corpen Distillers in Barcelona. Corpen is an up-and-coming craft distiller working on getting the permits necessary to start selling gin commercially. It is one of the first craft distilleries in Barcelona, therefore the permits it needs don’t exist. Until it can get said permits, it’s perfecting its recipes and teaching classes.
The class itself is three and a half hours long. Pablo, one of Corpen’s founders, was our instructor. His teaching is friendly, engaging, and relaxed. He greeted us with a welcome cocktail, a French 75 featuring some of Corpen’s gin and Spanish cava in place of champagne. He explained the ingredients in gin, along with the fermentation and distillation processes. We then sampled three of Corpen’s staple recipes and got to choose which one to make ourselves. Pablo gave us the ingredients and proportions we needed to create each recipe, but he encouraged us to modify the recipe however we saw fit. While we let the ingredients infuse, we drank gin tonics with our choice of Corpen gin and enjoyed some small snacks.
Corpen’s gin was excellent. The first gin was initially traditional but finished spicy. The second was a traditional, juniper-heavy gin. Finally, the third was a combination of the two. We opted to make one of each.
After we finished our second drink, we turned up the heat and began distilling the gin in a copper pot. As the alcohol turned into steam, it went through the pipes into a cold water bath, turning it back into a liquid. We distilled it in sections, starting with 10 ml, then three rounds of 50 ml, finishing with one more 10 ml beaker. Pablo told us that the first and last 10 ml are the worst sections and that good distilleries will discard those portions. What makes lower-quality alcohol, he told us, is a constant distillation process that doesn’t discard the less-than-desirable parts of the liquor.
With Pablo’s instruction, we finished our gin and sampled it with one last gin tonic. All of us came out with a fantastic finished product. The process was straightforward, and the class was only four people, leaving room for individual instruction.
This class was 88 dollars per person, and with that price tag came three cocktails, three samples of gin, a 250 ml bottle of gin, small tapas, and the information you need to begin distilling at home. Pablo made our first time with an Airbnb experience a positive one, and I would love to do another in the future. However, our Gin, Glorious Gin experience will be a tough one to top.
Questions? Let us know in the comment or contact us directly.