Gin gained popularity in the 1920’s during prohibition and the underground industry of “bootlegging” gave way to “bathtub gin”, a harsh and murky swill that was easy to make by mixing grain alcohol and water. It was during this time that gin cocktails were created, mostly to mask the flavor. Now you can mix your own gin with The Homemade Gin Kit … no bathtub required.
Sarah and Joe Maiellano began making their own gin at home in 2012. When they decided to make a go of it as a business they made a goal of selling 250 kits over eight months. Instead they sold 2,500 in two months. In their first year they sold 10,000 kits. “The kit gives our customers the tools and knowledge necessary to turn a boring bottle of vodka into an excellent, small batch gin.” The entire process only takes 36 hours.
The Homemade Gin Kit comes with two small glass bottles, a stainless steel strainer, a funnel, a tin of botanicals, and a tin of juniper berries. The herb botanicals include tellicherry black peppercorn, lavender, fennel, rosemary, coriander, allspice, dried lemon peel, bay leaf, and cardamom. Recipes include options for making your own original, smoky, or spiced gin. The website also offers juniper and botanical refill tins as well as refill bottles.
This is a perfect DIY project for a gin enthusiast, emerging mixologist, or the cocktail novice. The directions are simple: Start with your own bottle of vodka and add the juniper berries, which are steeped for 24 hours. After that you add your choice of botanicals and wait another 12 hours. After just 36 hours you are ready to enjoy your own homemade gin. Homemade Gin’s website offers several gin cocktail recipes, or enjoy it straight up.
The final product will not be a totally clear liquid, like gin or vodka purchased in a store. The Homemade Gin Kit creates a compound gin; one that has not been distilled again after being infused with the berries and botanicals. A yellow or cloudy hue should be expected.
If you are a gin snob, it’s unlikely that your homemade gin is going to completely replace your bottle of Hendrick’s, Beefeater, or Bombay, but it will be an interesting insight into the process, as well as a great conversation piece. Once you’ve made your hooch, invite some friends to your own private speakeasy and enjoy an evening of gin cocktails.
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