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.
Recipe: Homemade Gin
Summary: Homemade gin is a fantastic way to get creative with alcohol, and only takes a couple of days.
- 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
- Simply place the juniper in a 750ml Kilner Jar (or similar), and pour over the vodka. Leave for 24 hours.
- Open up the jar and add the extra spices. Give it a shake, then leave for another 24 hours.
- Pour out into a bottle through a funnel lined with muslin cloth (failing that a sieve).
- It’s ready to drink immediately; enjoy on its own or with tonic water.
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.
Feel free to switch the ingredients around to your taste. Just remember to keep the juniper in there!