How to Make Gin:
A Beginners Guide
If you’ve ever wondered how to make your own gin then you’re in luck!
I’m here to show you how to make gin at home in just 3 days…you won’t believe how easy it is!
As with all home brewing, baking and crafts, there’s a LOT of information out there and everyone does things a little differently. It can be pretty confusing when you’re new to a hobby figuring out exactly where to start. So I’m going to share with you my super simple instructions and leave links to everything you need to get started making your own gin at home right now!
I’m even going to give away my top secret Rhubarb and Custard Gin recipe….let’s go!
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How to Make Your Own Gin!
Gin takes about 3-4 days to make at home with minimal equipment and just a few steps.
Here’s our basic plan:
Total Time: 3-4 Days
Timing Overview –
Day 1: Mix base spirit and initial botanicals
Day 2: Add fresh botanicals
Day 3: Taste Test & Bottle
(Add more botanicals if needed on day 3 and leave for another 12-24 hours before bottling)
First we’ll take a look at the equipment and instructions for making your own gin.
Then we’ll talk botanicals, recipes and my top tips for fine tuning things lower down.
I’ve also got a handy video to watch at the bottom where I show you the whole process from start to finish – win!
How to Make Gin…
See below for more information on both of those!
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How to Make Gin:
- Sterilise your mason jar with boiling water and dry
- Measure out your vodka and pour into the mason jar along with your dry botanicals
- Leave for 24 hours in a cool dark place
- Add your fresh botanicals to the jar and leave for another 24 hours in a cool dark place – shaking gently once about halfway through
- Taste your gin and if it’s ok, move on to step 7!
- If needed, you can add more or remove certain botanicals to enhance flavours. If doing so, leave your gin for another 12-24 hours (in…yep, you guessed it, a cool dark place!) until you have the flavour you want
- Strain your gin into a sterilised bottle using a funnel and a sieve. Use a muslin cloth to catch smaller particles if needed
- Once bottled, it’s ready to drink!
Pair over ice with tonic and enjoy your very own homemade gin!
Take a look at my video below to see the full process in action from start to finish!
What’s in the Base Spirit?
Yes, we are indeed making our homemade gin with vodka, and here’s why…
Gin needs a grain-based spirit to get started. A lot of vodkas these days are made with grain so the easiest way is to start with vodka. Once infused with juniper berries the vodka turns into gin!
You don’t need to buy the most expensive vodka for your homemade gin, but make sure it’s drinkable (and not flavoured!). Something middle of the range like this is absolutely fine.
The amount of base spirit you use will roughly translate to the finished quantity of gin (give or take a few mls). Sometimes fresh botanicals may absorb some of your base spirit leaving you with less at the end. If you want to make 500ml of homemade gin, use 500ml of Vodka or slightly more.
Make sure to keep extra room in your mason jar for all your added botanicals. As a general rule I double the jar size based on the gin I’m making – so I would use a 750ml-1ltr jar for 500ml of gin.
– How to Make Gin –
What Are Botanicals?
From the web: “A botanical is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent”.
…basically, they’re spices, fruits, seeds and herbs that give gin it’s flavour.
A fine gin usually contains between 6-10 botanicals, but the only required botanical for your spirit to be called gin is juniper berries!
There are so many options to choose from when making your own gin, but this is an excellent place to start…
Base Botanicals for Beginners
A monkey recipe for a basic 250ml bottle of homemade gin:
- 15g Juniper Berries
- 3 Black Peppercorns
- 1 Cardamon Pod
- 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
Other Botanical Ideas:
The world is your oyster when it comes to gin botanicals – have a play around and see what you like! Here’s a list of ideas to get you started…
- Orris Root
- Licorice Powder
- Vanilla Pods
- Citrus Peel
- Star anise
- Cassia Bark
- Rose Petals
My Rhubarb & Custard Gin Recipe:
This is my favourite gin to make at home and the one I’m making in my video down below – My Rhubarb & Custard Gin! There’s sharpness from the Rhubarb, a warmth from the vanilla and a touch of sweetness. Perfect with a Mediterranean tonic and a garnish of fresh berries.
– Makes 500ml of Gin –
- 30g Juniper Berries
- 6 Peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Coriander seed
- 2 Cardamon Pods
- 2 thick Stalks of Rhubarb (chopped)
- 3 inch Grapefruit Peel
- 1 Vanilla Pod (chopped)
- Add 1-2 tsp of sugar after the fresh botanical infusion if you like things a bit sweeter
If you find your gin is too strong and you’re not getting enough of a certain flavour, you can remove the base botanicals after the first 48 hours and leave your gin to infuse with the more subtle flavours. You’ll see me do this with my gin in the video below.
Don’t leave your gin to infuse too long as it can get bitter – just 3-4 days is all you need to create a lovely tasting gin at home.
You can add as many botanicals as you like, but less is often more when you’re just starting out. Experiment in small batches to find the botanicals that appeal to you and adjust their quantities from there.
Think about the gins you enjoy drinking and take a look at their botanical list! This will give you a good idea of the botanicals you might like in your own gin at home.
The Perfect Serve
Have a think about the type of tonic and garnishes that will go best with your homemade gin.
A great place to start is with a Mediterranean tonic as it’s light flavouring will help to showcase your botanicals. For a heavier gin, try an original tonic and a simple slice of lemon.
Play around with flavour combinations between your homemade gin and different mixers to see what works best for you!
Tonics, Mixers & Garnishes to Try:
- Cucumber Tonic
- Aromatic Tonic
- Elderflower Tonic
- Light Tonic
- Mediteranian Tonic
- Orange Tonic
- Ginger Ale
- Fresh Lemon, Lime or Orange
- Fresh Raspberries, Blueberries or Strawberries
- A sprig of rosemary
- Fresh Cucumber
WATCH: Make Gin with Me…
See the Process from Start to Finish!
So now you know how to make gin at home in just 3 days….I told you it was easy!
I’d love to see your homemade gin – tag me in your photos on instagram @xameliax!
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How to make gin – A Beginners Guide is an original article on xameliax.
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