Juniper

How to Make Your Own Gin

I’m typing this while sat in my Wife’s parents’ house in Poland. It’s freezing and foggy outside and it’s all I can do not to start drinking the bottle of sloe gin we brought them as a present. Still, that idea has me thinking…

Poland like many other Eastern European countries does a pretty awesome bottle of vokda. Gin is basically vodka or any other neutral spirit flavoured with botanicals, of which juniper is the predominant flavour – hence the name – but everything else is left up to the imagination. As luck would have it the garden here is packed with Juniper bushes, teaming with dark and fragrant berries.

Normally I take a bottle of shop bought gin to turn into Sloe Gin at this time of year, but surely making my own gin is an even more expressive way of making a present; assuming of course (which is admittadly unlikely) that any of it manages to leave the house without me drinking it first.

Juniper "berries"

Juniper “berries”

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Recipe: Homemade Gin

Summary: Homemade gin is a fantastic way to get creative with alcohol, and only takes a couple of days.

Ingredients

  • 500ml Vodka
  • 2 tbsp Juniper Berries (fresh or dried)
  • 2 strips Orange Zest
  • 1 Strip Lemon Zest
  • 2 Cardomom Pods
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander Seed
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon

Method

  1. Simply place the juniper in a 750ml Kilner Jar (or similar), and pour over the vodka. Leave for 24 hours.
  2. Open up the jar and add the extra spices. Give it a shake, then leave for another 24 hours.
  3. Pour out into a bottle through a funnel lined with muslin cloth (failing that a sieve).
  4. It’s ready to drink immediately; enjoy on its own or with tonic water.

Quick notes

This gin will come out slightly tinted from the juniper berries; this is normal. You could use this gin as a base for an even more “home made” sloe gin.

Variations

Feel free to switch the ingredients around to your taste. Just remember to keep the juniper in there!

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