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Alembics Distillation Workshops - Auckland and South Island

Up coming Auckland Workshops

Saturday November 3rd 2018 10.30-3.30 

Friends House, Auckland Botanical Gardens


 101 Alembics Basic Distillation Techniques 

Saturday December 15th 2018 10.30-3.30 

Logan Campbell House, Auckland Botanical Gardens


Gin Immersion

Saturday November 17th 2018 10.30-2.30

Friends House, Auckland Botanical Gardens


Up coming South Island Workshop

Masterclass in distillation and herbal extractions with Jill  and Valmai. 

Phytofarm – Herbal Learning Garden


Sunday February 10th 10.30-3.30 - DISTILLING THE SPIRIT IN SUMMER

Discover, learn, explore and indulge in the wonderful world of plant medicines at Phytofarm.

Phytofarm is a medicinal plant farm of renowned herbalist and naturopath Valmai Becker, dedicated to the growing and practical use of herbal medicine. This is where healing plants, kitchen pharmacy meet and medicine making begins. Valmai and I will share with you our skills, experience, stories and knowlege of aromatic plants and their applications over 2 days. Come for one day or two.

Do you need accommodation in Little River?


Using a botanical that is seasonal and ready for harvest -  learn abouts the history, applications for food, medicine, flavour and aromatics. Jill will demonstrate 3 distillation techniques using the boatanticals of the day. Valmai will make herbal preparations from what we have distilled.

Sunday February 10th 10.30-3.30 - DISTILLING THE SPIRIT IN SUMMER

This is all about the "SPIRIT" - How to distil alcohol from wine, how to make a spirit for tincturing and perfumery and how to make a delicious Gin using fresh organic botanicals with notes of a seasonal aromatic that must be good for you. Valmai will demonstrate the art of tincturing and maceration and we will celebrate our work with a freshly distilled G&T.

A delicious lunch of freshly harvested herbs, local ingredients, seasonal fruits and vegetables will be provided for lunch on both days that matches the seasonality of our weekend.

Phytofarm, Little River, Banks Penninsula, South Island

Purchase Saturday Feb 9th single $225

Purchase Saturday Feb 9th double $425

Purchase Sunday Feb 10th single $225

Purchase Sunday Feb 10th double $425

Purchase Saturday/ Sunday  Feb 9th/10th single $425

Purchase Saturday/ Sunday  Feb 9th/10th double $875


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workshops web

We reccomend you attend a workshop to learn the art of distillation. They are interactive, fun and you will meet a group of like minded interesting people. We take along a range of stills for sale on the day, allow time to discuss the right still to match the budget and purpose and of course a discount. You will leave the day feeling informed and confidernt about using your still and the art of distillation.


Join us for a Gin Immersion workshop. This is an excellent way to not only learn to make your own Artisan Gin  using fresh organic botanicals but to practice your skills at blending and tasting. We will demonstrate the process of making two styles of Gin, while it is distilling we explore the botanicals that are used in many classic brands as well as taste our collection of well known branded Gins. Experiment blending using our range of essences to create that special wild card or seasonal difference. We will end the day by having a G&T comparing the two Gins distilled on the day and  you take home whats left over!.


  • Types of Alembic Stills, Setting Up, Cleaning & Care
    Identify each type of Alembic still & what they are best suited for. How to set up for distillation, cleaning the still between distillations & general care.
  • Basic Process and Practice
    The process of distillation, how it works, what it produces.
  • Practical Demonstration of Hydro-distillation for Aromatic Therapeutic Hydrosol, Storage & Application
    Using a traditional Alembic Still make a hydrosol using seasonal botanical for a therapeutic purpose. Measure for the ph, safe storage and application.
  • Practical Demonstration of Steam Distillation for Essential Oil
    Using a column still to make essential oil using a seasonal botanical. Measuring the yield, when to stop, how to separate oil from hydrosol, safe storage and application.
  • Basic Process and Practice of Distilling for Alcohol
    Explanation of preparation of a “Wash" or “Mash” using fruit, grains or vegetables. Measuring alcohol levels and cut off points for safe clean distilling.
  • Practical Demonstration of Distilling Alcohol using Wine to Eau de Vie
    Using wine as the base, learn how to measure the Heads Hearts and Tails of the distilling process. Simply and quickly obtain a clean distillation of a brandy.
  • Recipes, Resources, Equipment
    Question and answer session.

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