I haven’t made this since the days of the old site, but thought I would share here since it’s such an easy, but kind of impressive gift. “You made gin?”
From what I have read, there are two ways to make gin from a neutral spirit (like vodka). You can add the botanical components and then distill or you can add them after distillation - essentially making an infusion. This is the second and based on a one-batch kit I received as a gift many years ago + some online research.
Because of the inclusion of some whole spices, this makes a big batch. Luckily, it keeps well! You can probably find a smaller batch recipe out there.
You’ll need: measuring spoons, a kitchen scale, a big funnel, strainer/sieve, paper coffee filter, large pitcher or other receptacle you can easily pour from.
2 - 1.75L bottles of vodka, something middle-ish shelf. I use New Amsterdam.
Into ONE bottle insert 0.7oz of dried juniper berries. Close the bottle and give it a good shake. Then set it aside in a cool, dark place.
Twenty-four hours later, add the following to the bottle.
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1/2 teaspoon dried rose hips
3 pods green cardamom
6 pods whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon Tellicherry peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Close the bottle and give it a good shake. Then but it back into the cool, dark place for 12 hours.
Here’s where that strainer, filter, and receptacle come in. It’s also where an extra set of hands might help! I put a fluted paper coffee filter into a wire sieve that fits over the funnel and pour the contents of the infused bottle through and into an empty New Amsterdam kept from old batches for this purpose. If your receptacle has a wide enough opening, such as a pitcher, you don’t need the funnel.
You will need the funnel for all this: Then making sure there are no spice particles left in your now-empty bottle fill it half way with your newly-filtered concoction. Fill it the rest of the way with the un-infused vodka. Then add the rest of your infused concoction to the half-bottle of plain vodka. Close both bottles and give them a good shake!
Now you’re ready to portion out your giant stash of new gin! Usually, I use canning jars in various sizes, depending on the recipient. You can have a lot of fun with the labels here! I have used tags that I stamped on and printed labels made round to fit under the ring on the lid. The photo at the top was a gift for a family member that had to be shipped, so I sanitized and repurposed a kombucha bottle that I made a special label for. It’s vacuum sealed just for extra protection during shipping. Check your various regulations and limitations about shipping alcohol! Follow them at your own discretion.
I wouldn’t recommend this as a martini or sipping gin, but it is great for a gin and tonic or a fancier mixed drink!