Gin is one of the more popular alcoholic beverages these days among all kinds of drinkers. Women and men, young and old find a use for gin and always have it stocked up in their liquor cabinets.
The reason gin is so widespread is because of its clean, fruity undertones, which make it perfect for mixing all kinds of cocktails.
Gin is just an all-around, great drink. So, how does one make gin in their own kitchen? Making gin at home may seem pointless since there are dozens of gin companies stocking up your nearby supermarket. However, gin-making is the perfect project for someone who wants to explore flavors and dip their toes into the world of alcohol.
Just like how gin has widespread appeal, gin-making can be done by anyone, since the process is so simple.
The Best Ingredients for Gin-Making
Gin-making is all about choosing your ingredients wisely. When making gin, you often don’t know which ingredients that you put in will shine through in the final product. That’s why you’ll want to experiment until you perfect your gin.
If you want to create your own, original homemade gin recipe, then read through the list below and choose up to 10 ingredients to include in your gin.
- Juniper berries (these are a must when making gin. Gin wouldn’t be gin without them!)
Spices and Herbs:
- Star anise
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Lime juice and lime peel
- Orange juice and orange peel
- Lemon juice and lemon peel
- Clementine juice and clementine peel
- Grapefruit juice and grapefruit peel
- Apple juice
- Pear juice
- Apricot juice
Roots, Barks, and Seeds:
- Angelica root
- Cassia bark
- Fennel seeds
- Coriander seeds
- Caraway seeds
Those are just some of the many, many, many ingredients that can be used when making gin. You don’t have to limit yourself to these ingredients! If you have another ingredient in mind that you think would go great in a glass of gin, utilize it.
Buying a kit with pre-portioned ingredients makes the whole gin-making process a breeze. Good gin kits will even come with great gin cocktail recipes that are sure to impress. One of the better gin kits out there is the Do Your Gin gin-making kit. It comes with everything you need to make your own gin, and all the ingredients included are neatly packed in glass bottles.
Plus, if you need refills on ingredients, all you have to do is contact the company and they’ll send you more. It’s as easy as that.
Making gin from such a good quality kit like this will make you feel like a professional mixologist. That’s why this kit would make a great gift, too.
Making Homemade Gin Without a Kit
For this method of gin-making, if you want to go on the freer route, all you really need is a bottle of grain alcohol and the ingredients (see above list) of your choice. All you have to do is put your ingredients into the bottle of grain alcohol and let them infuse for a few days.
This may sound like ‘cheating’ since you’re not actually making the alcohol yourself. However, note that gin is literally just grain alcohol infused with juniper berries. That’s the definition of gin. Don’t believe me? Look it up.
If you want to follow a basic gin recipe, then follow the recipe below.
You Will Need…
- 1 liter of plain vodka or another grain alcohol of your choice (Should have about 40% ABV)
- 2 ½ tablespoons juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 cardamom pods
- A small dash of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 inches of the peel of one lemon
- A sprig of fresh rosemary
- A sprig of fresh lavender
Step 1 – Infuse alcohol with juniper berries. Open your bottle of grain alcohol and pour in the 2 ½ tablespoons of juniper berries. To get a stronger juniper berry flavor, using a pestle and mortar, you can slightly crush the berries, just until they are cracked and their insides are visible.
Step 2 – Let your alcohol sit. Now, put your bottle into the fridge and wait for the juniper berries to infuse their flavor into the alcohol. Depending on how strong you want the juniper berry flavor to be, this can take about 12-48 hours. 12 hours should be good enough, though.
Step 3 – Add in the rest of your ingredients. Now that the juniper berries have infused into your alcohol, it can officially be called gin. Technically, you could just leave it at this and call it a day, but without any other ingredients, it will taste pretty bland.
So, go through your list and drop each of your ingredients into the bottle of alcohol and juniper berries.
Step 4 – Let it sit… again. When making most drinks, whether it be gin or homemade cola, waiting is all part of the game. So, put your bottle back into the fridge and wait another 2 days, or 48 hours.
Step 5 – Strain and taste! Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Take your gin out of the fridge and pour it into a pitcher through a strainer. You should notice that the ingredients have given your gin a slightly amber brown coloration.
Once you separate all the solids from the liquids, you’re ready to bottle your gin up and start drinking. It’s just that easy!
How to Make Homemade Gin By Distilling
Gin making is pretty simple when you don’t have to worry about the distillation process. If you’re a beginner, or if you don’t feel like spending the money to buy a gin distiller (most people don’t), then the above two methods are most desirable.
However, using a gin distiller can allow you to create a more sophisticated gin drink. As the gin distills, different ingredients will shine through, making it actually have a different flavor depending on the amount of time it is left to distill for. So, with a gin distiller, you can distill your gin until it reaches the flavor that you most enjoy.
The Vanell Home Distiller works great and comes with everything you need for distilling your gin. It’s simple to use and isn’t that big, so you can store it in your pantry, closet, or garage without much problem.
For this method of gin-making, you’ll need all the ingredients mentioned in the last recipe, including the 1 liter of grain alcohol.
Follow steps 1-4, but don’t move on to step 5. Instead, follow along with the following instructions.
Step 5 – Pour your gin into the distiller. Keeping your distiller on a rather low heat so you don’t scorch your gin, let the distiller do its job. While your gin distills, find a measuring cup and place it under the opening to collect the distilled gin.
Step 6 – Measure out your gin. The most enjoyable flavors of gin you’ll get by using a distiller will exist in the first 3-ish cups of gin that comes out. So, you’re going to want to keep this gin separate from the last cup of gin. If they mix, you may end up with a not-so-desirable gin flavor profile.
Just for fun, you can collect your gin about 1 cup at a time, putting each cup in a separate glass or jar. After the distilling is completely over, you can then taste each of your four cups of gin and see for yourself the range of flavor that your gin has.
You can choose your favorite cup and get rid of the rest, or mix some together and toss some. It’s up to you.
No matter how you choose to make your homemade gin, it’s important to remember that all gin really is is grain alcohol infused with juniper berries. It’s nothing fancy, yet it’s beautiful, clean, and aromatic.
Gin is definitely something unique, and making it yourself is a fun way of getting into home brewing and distilling, both of which are becoming popular hobbies these days.