Gin is a clear alcohol made from vodka. It can have a harsh flavor, so herbs, particularly juniper berries, are added to make the alcohol taste better. Gin and vodka are very similar; in fact, you can make your own gin by flavoring and filtering a bottle of vodka. Here’s how to make gin:
Materials and equipment:
- 1/4 cup dried juniper berries
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried orange peel
- 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
- 1 whole cardamom pod
- 1 750ml bottle of 100 proof vodka
- 1 750ml bottle of 80 proof vodka
- Brita filter pitcher with five new filters
- Small bowl
- Food processor or blender
- Resealable jar, large enough for the vodka and herbs
How to make gin:
- Blend the ingredients. Break up the coriander and cardamom in your food processor or blender. Then set them aside in a small bowl and mix the rest of your dry ingredients into this bowl. The juniper berries are a must for gin flavoring, but you can make substitutions for any of the other fruit peels or herbs.
- Add the herbs to the vodka. Add all of the herbs and other ingredients to a bottle of vodka which has been poured into a large glass jar. Stir well to mix the ingredients with the liquid. Then seal the jar tightly.
- Let the jar sit. Keep the sealed jar in a dark room at constant room temperature for about a week. Shake the jar well every day to mix up the herbs. When the gin is nearing completion, it should take on a little color from the ingredients.
- Dilute the gin. Now, dilute the gin flavoring by mixing this flavored alcohol with a bottle of 80 proof vodka, which will help take the harsh burn out of your finished gin. If you taste the gin before it has been diluted or filtered, it will have a strong and likely unpleasant taste.
- Strain the gin. Filter the resulting alcohol through cheesecloth to remove the solid material (fruit peels and herbs) from your gin mixture. Then, use a Brita filter to remove any remaining sediment. Filter it five times, each time with a new filter, for the best quality gin. The color should be clear, not brown, once the gin has been completely filtered. Keep filtering until any cloudiness or color has been removed from the liquid.
- Enjoy! Once the gin has been completely filtered, it is ready to drink. Drink the gin on its own or in mixed drinks.
Once you’ve learned how to make this basic recipe, experiment with different flavors and herbs to find your desired blend. Other popular flavors for homemade gin include coriander, cinnamon, grapefruit pin, Kaffir lime leaves, nutmeg, cilantro, star anise, and lavender. You may even want to make several varieties of gin for use in different cocktails. This gin is easy to make, and you don’t even need a still or any other complicated equipment.