I have a lot of packing to do before we move on some yet-to-be-determined day(s) in the next two weeks. My to do list tells me the bedrooms are up for a clean today. And I have to get dressed before the plumber comes. But instead, I’m finishing my gin. No, not finishing OFF the gin, it’s 10:30 am here and I have to work at noon. I’m finishing crafting my very own gin. I figured that I’ve mentioned it enough times on here, promising to regale you with stories “next time.” Well, what better time than now? (Yes, I admit we have just established that there would indeed be a better time, but, eh.) It really doesn’t take much hands on work as it is just filtering right now so I’m not being horribly irresponsible. I have actually done some packing.
So here’s what I’ve got going on.
I started with a giant bottle of vodka from Costco (not pictured). I usually use their brand, but they were out so I tried Skyy. We are talking 1.75L for $14. I know of no greater bargain in life. (Right now, my Virginia peeps are so jealous of the fact that Costco sells liquor here.) The quality of the vodka doesn’t have to be great as I work some magic that results in a smoothness you won’t believe. You may be wondering what’s up with starting with vodka. Well, gin is just a clear base alcohol infused with, at the very least, juniper berries. Vodka makes a great base since I’m not up for moonshining.
Next comes the botanicals. That’s a fancy way of saying all the junk that goes into making gin gin. I don’t follow the recipe terribly closely, rather I use it as a guideline. Each batch comes out different since I really don’t care enough to pay attention and document what I’ve done. Then the mixture sits on my counter for over a week, getting a slosh every day or so to mix it up. You can see it turns the once clear vodka into a pretty dark product. Good thing I don’t love gin for its looks. I guess I’ve been lying when I say that I don’t drink brown liquors. I meant the scary stuff like bourbon, but now I’ll just have to
eat drink my words.
Next comes the filtering, also known as the magic part. I pass it through a gin-dedicated Brita water pitcher no less than 7 times. That reminds me, I have to go send it through again.
And there you have it– the smoothest cheap “homemade” gin this side of, hmm… what’s around here… the International Date line? Equator? Let’s go with this side of an active volcano.
I’ve been working on infusing some fun flavors into the gin but nothing fabulous yet. Pineapple didn’t do much, maybe cucumber next. I’m determined to get the ginger infusion right– tough since it adds bite after I smooth it out. It’s hard work, but someone has to avoid real life and do it, right?
Here’s the basic recipe if you’re interested
- 6 1/2 c vodka
- 20 grams dried juniper berries
- 8 grams whole coriander, crushed
- 2 grams dried orange peel (I tried fresh this time since I was impatient)
- 2 grams dried lemon peel (ditto)
- 3 grams whole cinnamon
- 1 whole cardamom pod, crushed (I often don’t have this)
I exercise strong self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast.