Spice Is Nice
Want to step up your home cocktails this Saturday night? Here’s how to make gin.
This was a fun recipe to pull together and frankly I’m not sure why it took us so long to try it. The idea of “making” gin seemed complicated but then I thought about it. Gin, at its core, is really just juniper-infused vodka.
A suggestion from a reader along with an article from the Gourmet magazine blog gave me all the confidence I needed to make it happen.
We infuse a lot of things around here and depending on the base spirit and desired level of flavor, the steep time can go anywhere from a day to a month. The great thing about this gin? You can start it tonight and be mixing martinis with it for tomorrow’s happy hour. It’s that easy.
A friend recently declared that “gin is the bacon of alcohol.” Much like bacon it is quite versatile, has a strong decisive flavor, and generally can mix successfully with just about everything. It’s great on its own and will add a kick to beer (Skip and Go Naked), Champagne (French 75), even bourbon (Suffering Bastard).
The tasting notes on this particular batch were all positive: Nicely assertive juniper, complex herbal and sweet notes from the fennel, allspice and coriander, a subtle spiciness from the pepper and a green grassy finish (Bay leaf?). Drinks well on its own and will stand up to mixers and juices.
Add the juniper berries to the vodka (and Everclear if you have it) and steep overnight. The next day, add the remaining ingredients and let steep all day (or overnight if you have the time)
Your gin will have likely taken on a golden-green hue. This is fine. Strain your gin through a paper coffee filter, change the filter and strain once more (gin with color is fine, gin with solid bits is not).
CAUTION: Don’t mess around with straight up Everclear. It’s a beast. It’s highly flammable. It will peel paint. Respect your ingredients and the body you put them into.
Questions? Happy hour ideas? Chat with us on Twitter: @thurshappyhour.