Requirements For Homemade Gin
Under the European Union, there is a specific definition regarding gins makeup and taste, and there are regulations for the process of making it.
The EU requires that gin be made from a natural ingredient such as potatoes, wheat, or barley so that it has a neutral flavour. Additionally, all gin must have juniper as a flavouring agent otherwise, it is not a proper gin. However, other gin botanicals are popular for adding extra flavouring.
Gin must have a pure alcohol content of at least 37.5%. Alcohol-free gin does exist, although you cant make it at home without using a juniper syrup and carbonated soda water.
How To Make Gin At Home
After a month of champagne, imperial stouts and special-occasion whiskey bottles adorned with red bows, I was ready for a month off. Yep, Im one of those Dry January people. Judge me if you must, but it seems to be more necessary each year.
The trouble is that while my liver was asking for a break, my hobbymixing cocktailswasnt. So I decided to spend the month learning how to make my own booze, specifically aromatized liquors that tend to fill the kitchen with mood-lifting smells. Im talking about gin, bitters, vermouth and amaro.
Not only did it give me a way to occupy my time during those dark, mid-winter weeks it also packed with it the promise of some new drams to pourmade by my own hand, no lesson February 1, when the proverbial wagon comes screeching to a halt, and I go tumbling off of it.
Fundamentally, all of these DIY concoctions are nothing more than ambitious, graduate-level infusions. If youve ever dropped pineapple chunks into a jar of vodka, you can do this. It just requires a longer shopping list, a bit more patience and a LOT more tasting as you go.
Now, lets get started on some gin.
What Can You Put In It
If you havent already figured it out, gin must have at least two vital ingredients to be classified as gin a base spirit above 37.5% ABV, and juniper as the dominant botanical ingredient. Anything else in there is entirely up to you, the world is your cocktail shaker.
The extra botanicals is where you can really experiment with flavours and combinations, and build up on the booze and juniper heavy base. For what its worth, juniper berries have a flavour profile that is tart, with a piney, slightly citrus flavour profile. Theyre essentially the tightly-clenched pinecones that can be crushed and used as a seasoning spice, and are quite common in European dishes and sides like sauerkraut.
So with that in mind, its not surprising that a lot of craft distilleries in Australia opt for botanicals that complement juniper. Four Pillars award-winning classic dry gin uses whole fresh oranges, lemon myrtle, coriander, green cardamom, cassia, star anise, lavender, pepperberry, and angelica all spicy, warming, floral, and citrusy flavours to work with the juniper.
Maybe you want to have a warming, spiced gin so youre looking at cinnamon, peppercorn, star anise, ginger, cardamom, meen/bloodroot, or coriander seeds. Or you could go down the fruity, citrusy route and add in dried lemon, grapefruit or orange peel, finger limes, lemon-scented gum, lemon myrtle, or yuzu.
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How To Make The Clover Club
Disclaimer: Some of these posts contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you click on these links and buy something, but, dont worry, it wont cost you a dime! Jump to Recipe
The classic Clover Club cocktail is one of the prettiest classic cocktail in the oeuvre. You cant miss this pink drink with its foamy top! Dont be scared to make it at home, it is super easy and a perfect choice for raspberry lovers.
This pre-Prohibition cocktail has been around since the late 1800s and has seen a few rises and falls. The original recipe originated at Philadelphias Bellevue-Stratford hotel. It was named after the Clover Club gentlemens club where club member used to meet to chat about the worldy events. Needless to say, more drinking and less talking really took place.
George Boldt, the owner of the Bellevue, moved up to New York to head up the Waldorf Astoria where, the rumor has it, he took along the recipe and launched it at the bar there. It found its way onto the New York Press list of cocktails in 1901.
It fell off the map after the crowd disbanded and Prohibition came into affect in the United States. Then it popped up again in Gary Regans Joy of Mixology. However, this delicious cocktail came to everyones notice in the early 2000s when the cocktail legend, Julie Reiner, added it to her menu at her bar of the same name, The Clover Club in Brooklyn, New York City! Now its in all cocktail bars everywhere, thank goodness.
Flavors In This Summer Gin Cocktail
The beauty of this cocktail is that variations you can make with different additions of infused simple syrup and flavored sorbets. Im using raspberry here because of its gorgeous color as well as how the flavors melded with the citrus-forward gin I chose.
Ive also made variations with a scoop of lemon sorbet, mango, and orange sorbet. They are all delicious, but I preferred lemon and raspberry with this combination of spirits.
I found that substituting rum for the gin makes a sour thats full of tropical flavors with mango or pineapple sorbets. And if youre a whiskey lover, well, orange and lemon sorbets thrive in this kind of cocktail.
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Cocktails With Homemade Gin
Want to make cocktails with your homemade gin? No problem. Weve handpicked a few great cocktails that work brilliantly with this type of compound gin:
Looking for something simple but sophisticated? Then learn how to make a vesper a twist on the classic Martini thats better suited to the compound gin you just made.
Alternatively, maybe youre after something dark and bitterly complex, like the hanky panky, invented by pioneering female bartender Ada Coleman back in 1925. Or if its simply that time of year and youre looking for something suitably festive, why not go for a Christmassy mulled gin cocktail instead?
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Tod & Vixens Six Seeds
Tod & Vixens Dry Gin 1651 is a unique gin because its so versatile it tastes as if it was made specifically for any style, including a flavorful, aromatic, and effervescent sour like the Six Seeds. Ali Martin, bartender at The Up & Up
1 oz. Tod & Vixen’s Dry Gin 1651
0.75 oz. grapefruit Juice
0.5 oz. Grenadine
2 Dash Peychauds
Method: Shake with two orange peels. Strain into a coupe and top with dry sparkling wine.
Why Make Purple Gin
Because its fun! There is no rule that gin has to be clear and if youre looking for a way to add a splash of color to your cocktail hour, this is a great way to go about it. Plus until advanced distilling methods were available, most gins used to be a cloudy brown color due to the spices that were diffused in it.
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Wash And Sterilize The Bottle Or Container
Note: The gin kit instruction booklet does not suggest that you need to sterilize your container. But if you want to ensure that your container is thoroughly clean, then this is a good idea to sterilize it.
Gin Classes And Stills
It goes without saying that gin will also be made as part of our classes How to make moonshine. If you would like more detailed information in the course about how to make gin, possible compositions of the botanicals, etc., please mention Gin in the comments when registering for the classes.
Are you looking for distilling equipment or a copper still for making gin? The Piccolo-copper still or Vetro-copper still are suitable above all for gin makers who like to experiment. A distillation process takes 20-30 minutes, so you can try many experiments in a short amount of time and with only a small amount of materials. The distillation will yield around 200 ml of gin.
If you would like to distill larger quantities of gin, then the copper still Classic or copper still Deluxe would be the right choice for you. You also need a graduated cylinder and the hydrometer to dilute the distillate.
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Gin Distillation Kit
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Making Your Own Gin At Home
Making DIY gin is a great way to save money and enjoy other beverages with this herbal spirit, including gin cocktails. The Craft Gin Club has an excellent recipe to help you make your own gin run successful.
- 750 mL of high-quality vodka
How To Make Gin And The Different Types Of Gin
Making gin has found more and more fans in recent years. However, there is not just the one method how to make gin and not just the one type of gin. Gin is a spirit flavored with or juniper extract and other herbs, although the juniper flavor has to remain predominant. However, in contrast to the famous Slovakian Borovika or the traditional Austrian Kranawitter or Kranewitter, the berries must not be fermented, for example as juniper mash. Agricultural alcohol from grain is normally used for gin. The minimum alcohol content of the finished gin is 37.5% ABV.
Gins origins go back to the 17th century. At that time jenever was already being produced in the Netherlands, which is also an agricultural alcohol flavored with juniper berries. It quickly became popular in England under the name gin, first as an imported product and later from domestic production. Herbs were also added, whereas Dutch jenever is a pure juniper spirit. The exact composition of the herb mixture is the secret of each gin producer, and is also the reason why each gin ultimately tastes different. Usually coriander, angelica root, violet root , lemon peel and other herbs are added as well as juniper.
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Final Thoughts On Diy Gin
Overall, both attempts tasted like gin and were complex and tasty. Id like to try rose petals instead of rosehips next time but we had rosehips on hand already, so it was easy to throw them in.
While researching, I saw recipe instructions ranging from a 12-hour steep to a couple of days for the infusion. As I mentioned, both gins were already pretty strong after 24 hours which makes sense since I used half the amount of liquor than the Craft Gin Club recipe called for.
So just be willing to taste and adjust your time accordingly. If you use 375 ml of liquor, its likely your gin will only need to sit for 24 hours. It doesnt take a bunch of time to steep! And dont forget to shake your gin distillate a couple of times in the process.
And dont be afraid to play with the flavor profile and ingredients! There were a lots of popular gin botanicals I could have added, but I worked with what we had in our pantry and didnt want to order too many new ingredients. Remember, as long as you include juniper, you can throw in whatever other botanicals you want.
Here are some popular ingredients and extra botanicals I didnt use but that you might want to include for a complex flavour profile:
- Angelica root
A Short History Of Gin
I do love the names Gin has gone by in yesteryear though mothers Ruin, Cuckolds Comfort, and Dutch Courage for example. Redolent of those nasty Victorian alleyways, Jack the Ripper and the mean streets of London back in the day. History has given Gin some pretty colourful nicknames.
Of course, there is also the N. American history of bathtub gin, and gin smuggled in from England to lift the spirits of Americans during Prohibition. Thank the goddess those days are now over and even I can be convinced to enjoy a new kind of gin.
The British have always big gin drinkers and have quaffed their fair share of it over the years. These days hand made, small batch produced gins are being created all over the United Kingdom and Ireland. This quiet revolution has been taking place across the globe but here in Britain, the idea of sustainable, environmentally friendly farm to table foods has impacted the spirit field.
The field to bottle revolution has changed up the spirit markets and folks are tasting gins infused with rhubarb, roses and other flavours. At the Country Home show, there were several artisanal gin and vodka producers. I was an avowed non-gin or vodka drinker, prior to tasting these products, but the quality and flavour have made me change my mind.
The word gin itself comes from the French genièvre and Dutch jenever, both of which mean juniper.
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So Can I Make Gin At Home
Though all the professional distilleries use kettles and stills to heat the base spirit with water to weaken it to around 50% ABV , steep the juniper and other chosen botanicals in the spirit for up to 48 hours, distill the spirit in a pot still, and then literally water down to a drinkable strength, you dont really have to have a fancy copper or metal still setup at home.
During the prohibition years in America , the process of distilling botanicals in a neutral spirit to essentially make gin was pretty popular. This process created bathtub gin, because batches were actually made in bathtubs in the 20s, but you also dont have to go and make gin in the tub either.
According to The Scotsman , you can make your own at home by steeping juniper and other botanicals in a sterilised jar of vodka for your own bootleg gin.
When Did It Become A Thing Again
The British obsession with gin kicked off in the late 1600s and early 1700s, when tax breaks were given to the production of spirits , and resulted in pints of gin being cheaper than a beer ushering in the Gin Craze era, and a swathe of problem drinking. Apparently when the River Thames froze over, distillers would set up on the river and sell hot gin with gingerbread, which sounds like a bloody delight.
In recent years, gin has typically been seen as the kind of spirit your grandparents would neck back on a summers afternoon, or get a bit giddy on at a family reunion. Its well known that Queen Elizabeth II has multiple gin cocktails every day including apparently having a glass of gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon to celebrate mid-morning. What a life.
For generations its been considered a depressing spirit that was only reserved for sad poets and your nan, but then around the start of the 2010s, gin had a hell of a renaissance.
A ginaissance, if you will.
In Australia specifically, Four Pillars in Healesville in Victoria was one of the first distilleries to really forge the path for small-batch, craft gin in the country. Founded in 2013, the Yarra Valley distillery knocked it out of the park early on with a double gold win at the World Spirit Championships in San Francisco in 2014, and took a handcrafted approach to creating the mothers ruin spirit, as reported by ABCs Radio National.
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