Making your own gin is surprisingly easy, so if you’re a fan of this spirit and want to try your hand at coming up with a custom creation at home, here are a few pieces of advice to help you out.
5 Beginner Tips For Getting Started
1) Keep It Simple – It might be tempting to go wild and develop a custom gin that is jam packed with every possible flavour. In reality, you will achieve better results if you rein in your ambitions and start with something simple. Once you have finished your first batch successfully, you can spread your wings with subsequent attempts.
2) Quality Is Key – Do not skimp on the quality of the gin or the ingredients you decide to add; if you spend that little bit more, you will really be able to taste the difference in the long term.
3) Consider Cocktails – If you are wondering how to make your own gin, you will also probably be hoping to use it in cocktails once it is completed. As such you should tie your ingredient choice in with your preferred concoction, as not all flavoured gins will work well with every type of mixer.
4) Be Patient – Infusing gin with the additions you select is not something that you should rush, even if you are eager to experience the results for yourself. It is sensible to stick to a predetermined schedule and hold your nerve, rather than diving in too soon and being disappointed with what you find.
5) Practice Makes Perfect – Do not be disheartened if your initial experiment with making your own gin is not an instant hit. You will invariably become better at creating this custom spirit with practice, so keep your expectations realistic and if all else fails, try again!
10 Ingredients You Should Use
When it comes to flavouring gins, the choices of suitable ingredients are almost endless. Here are just 10 of the best options to compliment the underlying spirit.
· Rhubarb – This classic gin infusion delivers a mixture of sharp and sweet notes, while lending a distinctive flavour that speaks of brilliant British summer days and is oddly nostalgic.
· Rosemary – For a rounded, herbal hit with your G&T you can add rosemary sprigs and see what kind of warmth of flavour this can bring to the table.
· Strawberries – Fruit gins are common these days, with strawberry being one of the top infused flavours amongst those who have a bit more of a sweet tooth.
· Chilli – Give your gin a kick by adding chilli to the bottle, but remember to avoid leaving it to infuse for longer than 24 hours or else the flavour of this spicy veg will become entirely overpowering.
· Elderflower – The gentler tang of elderflower is another favourite of many gin drinkers and this epitomises English countryside flavours.
· Vanilla – An appealing, smooth taste to add to gin, vanilla will work its wonders fairly quickly and so like chilli it should not be left to rest for too long if you want to prevent unwanted tainting.
· Blackcurrant – As well as adding tartness and unmistakable character to the gin, a good dose of blackcurrants will leave the spirit with a very distinctive colour if left to steep for around a month.
· Lemon – Many gin drinkers will add a slice of lemon to their G&T by default, but if you cannot get enough of that citrus flavour then you can infuse the liquor with slices of the fruit in the bottle. Avoid leaving this powerful ingredient to work its magic for more than a couple of days.
· Celery – One of the more outlandish but nevertheless exciting ingredients to choose when making your own gin, celery can quickly impart its unique flavour in a week and will definitely be a talking point at your next party.
· Mint – Fresh and feisty, the flavour of mint can give your home made gin some real zing. If you are a fan of mojitos and want to swap out the rum for gin, this could be the way to go.
10 Gins To Start With
The gin you choose as a base will work best if it does not already come with high profile botanicals or infusions of its own. Because of that, here are 10 London Dry gins that you can comfortably consider as suitable for amateur experimentation.
· Bloom London Dry Gin – At the floral end of the spectrum, but still subtle enough to embrace extra flavours.
· Gordon’s Special Dry Gin – Affordable and accessible, this gin is idea for first timers.
· Tanqueray London Dry Gin – An unfussy gin that will be the canvas for your creativity.
· Sipsmith London Dry Gin – A top option in its own right, this gin will be best suited to floral and herbal adaptations.
· Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin – As well as being a solid underpinning for making your own gin, this brand is also relatively inexpensive for the quality it offers.
· Jawbox Classic Dry Gin – Work with this dry gin to see what small batch distillation techniques can do for your concoctions.
· Boodles British London Dry Gin – With its modest botanicals, this gin will let your choice of flavours shine through.
· Malfy Original Gin – Made in Italy, there are flavoured versions of Malfy available from the manufacturer, but it is more fun to customise your own at home!
· Slingsby London Dry Gin – This is a premium gin that is still suitable for amateur tinkering if you are willing to stretch your budget a little.
· Drumshambo Gunpowder Gin – This is a punchy Irish gin that many might find more appealing if amended with some carefully chosen flavours and infusions.
5 Techniques For Beginners
1) Sterilise your containers thoroughly before decanting the gin into them – this can be done first washing the bottles or jars as you would normally, then placing them in an oven at 120C to dry out and kill off any remaining bacteria.
2) Remember to allow your chosen ingredients to infuse for the right amount of time. The most potent additions, including chilli and lemon, need around a day, while the likes of rhubarb and celery will get the job done in a week. Strawberries and blackcurrant need at least 3 weeks to hand over their softer notes, while elderflower should be left for a month.
3) After the right amount of time has passed, it is time to strain out the additions, first via a sieve and then with the help of a paper filter for a coffee machine to make sure no solids remain in the spirit.
4) Re-seal your strained gin in the containers of your choice, once again being sure to sterilise these before use, then store in a cupboard or other dark part of the house where it is not going to get too hot.
5) Enjoy your creation within a year, as this will be the period within which it is at its best. Most of all, have fun during the entire process and the end results will be all the more enjoyable.
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