How To Make Gin At Home in 9 Easy Steps
Have you ever wondered how to make gin in the comfort of your own home? It would be pretty incredible if you could right? You can and believe me it is very easy to do. I love my gin if I am not getting a delivery from Craft Gin Club, or buying a bottle from my local shop. I am trying to make some homemade gin.
Ready to learn how to make your own gin? Let’s get started…
What is Gin?
For something to be called Gin, it has to be a spirit that’s main botanical and flavour is that of Juniper. The minimum amount of ABV should also be 37.5%, anything lower than this and it is not Gin.
In the simplest way to think of it, Gin is basically Vodka with Juniper flavours. This means that you can easily make your own gin at home. Interestingly it is illegal for distilleries to actually produce the raw alcohol and then also create their gin, they have to, in fact, purchase the alcohol.
The distillery will then either soak the alcohol in the botanicals, this is basically what you would do to make homemade gin but on a smaller scale (Maybe..)
How To Make Gin At Home - Preparation
Now before I get started on the actual making of the gin, this guide does NOT require you to re-distill vodka. Distilling in the UK is actually illegal if you do not have a license, this is because alcohol is explosive and therefore very dangerous. Your Gin will taste just as good with the method below, plus its a lot cheaper!
What will you need?
Below are the items you will need, you can get a gin making kit that contains most of the things needed.
I have done a review of the best ones below, in case you wanted to give them a go when first getting started. (Some of them contain everything other than the vodka)
NOTE: The Vodka
Vodka is used as the base alcohol as it has no flavour of its own, allowing it to take on that lovely juniper taste. Now you could simply buy a cheap bottle of vodka but these are often re-distilled from the first batch of vodka and is therefore not as tasty. At the same time you don’t need to go for the most expensive, personally, I go for a middle of the range. Id recommend going for one that you actually enjoy drinking, don’t forget this is the base of the gin your making so you want to to be drinkable.
NOTE: The Botanicals
The botanicals are what give the gin its different flavour and aroma. One of the things I love about making homemade gin is the fact that the choice is up to you what you put into it. The one thing that is a must is that it contains juniper. Other than that the choice is yours, believe me, there are hundreds of possible combinations.
The botanicals you use will determine what type of gin you get to enjoy. As an example, if you want a fruity gin then you might go for melon, cucumber or apple. Alternatively, if you want a herbal type gin then you might add thyme or rosemary.
I am working on a botanical guide, which will list all of the different botanicals with nice combinations.
The key thing to remember is that you have juniper berries in it, other than that the world is your oyster!
Making Your Own Gin – Step By Step
Below is the step by step guide on making homemade gin, the entire process is easy. You will have your very own gin in only 5-6 days! (Will it last that long once it’s made?)
It’s important that you first sterilize the glass bottle or Kilner jar that you will be making your Gin in. This will prevent any bacteria being present which could ruin the flavour/make it go bad. You can simply fill it with water drop some sterilising tablets in and then leave for a couple of hours.
2. Soak juniper berries
Many guides will advise you to put all the botanicals in to infuse, I personally prefer to only put in the juniper berries first. I find that this gives it more of that “gin” taste. Put the juniper berries into the glass bottle and then fill with your vodka. Leave this to infuse for 24 hours.
3. Time for the botanicals
After 24 hours you want to open up the glass bottle and add the botanicals to the junipers, give it all a little shake and then leave to allow the vodka to infuse for 48 hours.
4. The star botanical
If there is a specific botanical that you want to have more flavour than the rest, IE Rosemary for a herby taste or lavender for an aromatic gin. Add a little extra of this botanical to the mix and then let it infuse for a further 24 hours.
I bet when you looked through the steps, this was the first one that caught your eye! Now is the time to give your gin a little taste test, this is so you can see if it has the amount of botanicals right or if you need to add any extra flavour.
I would personally do two tests, a little on its own and then a little with a bit of tonic. If you feel it needs more time then give it an extra 24 hours to infuse. There might be a chance that not enough of the botanical flavour has come through if that’s the case simply add some more and give it an additional 24 hours.
6. Remove the botanicals
When you are happy with the flavour, you want to place a sieve over a jug that has been sterilised. Pour your gin into the sieve and this should catch all of the different botanicals and result in just liquid. Wash out your Glass bottle and place the liquid back in.
7. It needs to settle
You then want to leave your gin for another 24-48 hours. During this time you might find some sediment begin to settle on the bottom. If you don’t, skip to step nine.
8. Remove Sediment
Depending on which botanicals were used, you might find a bit of sediment at the bottom of your glass bottle. Don’t worry this will not impact the flavour but visually it’s better to remove it.
To do this simply repeat Step Six but instead of using a sieve you want to use a muslin or coffee filter.
9. Bottle Gin
Now is the fun bit!
It’s time to bottle your amazing creation.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your bottles are clean and have been sterilized. Empty the Glass bottle into your chosen gin bottles and then pop on the lid and there you have it, your own gin.
You could go the next step and create labels of your own and place them on the bottles, this is nice if you plan to give them away or just want to be reminded as to what botanicals you used.
If you are wanting to make it in bigger quantities, just get a bigger jar and more gin. You could always use something as big as a demijohn. (I’d only do this once you have made a gin that you like!)
NOTE: Is Your Gin Too Strong?
You might find that the gin flavour is too strong, this can sometimes happen if there was too much juniper or it infused for too long. You can adjust this by diluting it with a little more vodka. Remember to mix it up when you add the vodka and then try a little to make sure it is not too weak.
NOTE: The colour of your gin
Coloured gin at the moment is pretty fashionable but I’m sure you have noticed that most gin on the market is clear. No doubt you might find when your gin is done that it has taken some of the colour of your botanicals, this is completely normal and will not impact on the flavour.
Some options to lighten it such as putting it through a Brita filter or even freezing and then filtering through a muslin cloth. Over time this could reduce the flavour, I would personally leave it as the colour it is. (Why bother if it won’t change the taste?)
Homemade Gin Recipes
If you want to test making your own gin with different botanicals, it can be confusing on what botanicals to use. To help you get started, you can see some really good recipes below to help you make some really tasty homemade gin.
Gin Recipe One: Spiced Gin
Gin Recipe Two: Spiced Citrus
Gin Recipe Three: Citrus Gin
Gin Recipe Four: Winter Gin
Making Gin - Conclusion
I really hope that this guide on how to make gin has been useful and also inspired you to make your own. I love trying different gins and experimenting with different flavours, this simple method allows me to do just that.
Once you have tried making some homemade gin, please do comment below to let me know how you got on. If you do have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments, I’ll be more than happy to answer anything.