Making your own delicious gin doesn't need to be complicated. Step up your classic cocktail game by constructing your own rustic gin. Join me as we explore how to make gin.
We have already made tonic water and now we are going to make some gin! As indicated in our post of the different kinds of gin, most of the gins bought in stores are distilled with aromatics and juniper during the distillation processes. Composite gin, however, is derived from infusing these items right into a neutral alcohol. Inspired by the recipe from this video, we are going to learn how to make gin at home.
Starting with vodka
Gin tends to be distilled twice. After the first distillation, it is a neutral spirit and then, on second distillation are the aromatics given to the alcohol that make it a gin. In this style of gin, however, we impart the flavorings directly into the alcohol. We are going to start with a neutral spirit…. Vodka. I am choosing to start with New Amsterdam Vodka. Coming in at $15 for a 1.75L, it is a great liquor for the price. This really is an experiment and it is going to be infused with all sorts of goodness. It is, then, going to be mixed with other things. I think going for a bit of a more price conscious choice is not a bad idea, particularly on my first go around.
Is All Gin Made From Vodka?
No. Most Gin is distilled as gin and does not start as vodka. We are making a rustic gin that starts with vodka and that is ok. We are not distilling anything, but just having fun with the ingredients we have at home.
If you are interested in distilling gin, there are resources out there for you. Check for your local rules, laws, and regulations before you start down that path.
How to make gin and the aromatics
All gins need Juniper Berries, which can be ordered on amazon. Beyond that, I chose to use coriander seed, ginger, lemon peel, lime peel, orange peel, and lemongrass. These were recipe decisions, mostly because I already had them in stock. I also had cinnamon, cucumber, and almonds on hand, but I decided to leave them out. Lemongrass and ginger were already added, which I felt were distinguishing enough.
The recipe that inspired mine, had added 25g of juniper berries for 750ml of vodka. I used a grand total of 120g of juniper and I could definitely get the taste with that much of the berry. Starting off with 50g for 6 cups, I let it sit for two days and then strained everything out and had a taste. I decided it needed more. So, I discarded the original aromatics and added 50g more to the bottle. After sitting another day, I gave it a try and it was where I needed it to be. Additionally, I lightly used my muddler on the juniper berries to release the flavor and oils.
It is pretty darn good! The alcohol is going to be a brownish color, so don’t let that throw you off. That is normal. I still feel like I get a bit of the vodka taste in there, but perhaps that could be remedied with a better vodka that is more known for its neutrality. All in all, I think I will likely do this again to go with my tonic.
Products Used In This RecipePrint
How To Make Gin Right At Home
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 4 Days
- Total Time: 4 Days 30 Minutes
- Yield: 32 servings 1x
- Category: Distillation
- Method: Steeping
- Cuisine: English
How to make gin at home! Get a few ingredients and some vodka to make a great and easy rustic Gin
- 6 cups Vodka
- 70 + 50 grams Juniper berries
- 4 inches lime peel
- 8 inches orange peel
- 6 inches lemon peel
- ½ inch ginger root
- 1 small lemongrass stalk
- Using muddler, slightly mash the juniper berries to release flavors in a separate bowl
- Add juniper berries and all other ingredients (minus the 50 grams of juniper berries) to container
- Let sit for 2 days
- Strain all materials out using funnel and cheesecloth into another bottle or dish (you are going to need to pour it back)
- Muddle the remaining 50g of juniper berries and add back to bottle
- Add remaining juniper berries
- Let sit for another day
- Strain again
You can get the Juniper Berries for a reasonable price on Amazon.
Keywords: Make your own Gin
This is actually a question. I live in an area where juniper trees are absolutely everywhere, and fall onto the ground in hoardes in my front yard in the spring. Could I clean and use those instead of buying them?
Great question. You would need to identify the exact species of juniper and determine if it is safe, or desirable, to use for this. Some species of juniper are poisonous and others are not meant to be eaten. I found this. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/garden/20qna.html
Just a quick question, this may seem strange to people in US etc but how much Is 4 inches of say lime peel? I’m in AU & I’m not sure of quantity. E.g 1/4 cup / 1 cup.
You are going to be safe by just using your typical paring knife or peeler and estimate that 4 inches (10cm). About a long thumb's worth? lol. If you are looking for specific conversions, google is awesome for that.
Most gin contains a triad of botanicals; juniper, coriander, angelica. These each serve a different yet important structure for the flavor profile. Every other herb or fruit is gratuitous after that.
Also, I would reccomend weighing the fruit peels for more accuracy, as the rest of the recipe calls for mass in grams, it seems a scale may be handy.
That being said, you will never quite get the bright, delicate, notes through this process without vapour infusion. However, this recipe sounds great for something similar and refreshing!
- A Gin Distiller
Thanks for reading and the insight!
I needed to order a few ingredients for this recipe, but it turned out really nice. It was fun to share my hand crafted gin with other people.
I really enjoyed making this recipe. I have recently purchased Ritual AF Gin and decided to do half vodka half water. It came out great. I didn't have lemongrass, so i used a few arugula leaves and lemon zest. If I make this again, I'll definitely try to get a hold of actual lemongrass and add in some cucumber skins.
Best part was how accessible Ben was to answering some questions before I started and along the way. Everyone should follow him on Twitter. His food and drinks are all gorgeous. He makes me want to get my cook on. Thanks, Ben!
Thank you so much AmyA for the compliment and awesome that we connected on the Twitters.
I recently started making craft gin.
I would like to make a sweet vanilla flavored gin
any insights on what botanicals to use?
Hey, thanks for reading. Maybe check out this site which has a list of gins with vanilla notes... check out the individual ones and the other flavors.