Do you enjoy a cute night in with the girls making your own homemade cocktails? Or perhaps you just want to take your cocktail-making skills to the next level? Learning how to make gin yourself can be a fun hobby to have and will be bound to impress all your friends and family.
Plus, if you’re planning to use your homemade gin as a gift and they’re a true gin lover you can top it off with one of our very own gin cards. With a wide range to pick from, you’ll be sure to find something whatever the occasion.
How do you make gin?
Making gin from scratch is actually not as difficult as you may think.
But what is gin made from? The main ingredients in gin typically include:
- Base of grain (e.g., wheat or barley)
- Juniper berries
- Aromatics or botanicals (e.g., herbs, spices, and fruits)
- Vodka (optional)
While there are different ways to make gin, it tends to start with the distillation of a neutral grain alcohol with juniper berries and other aromatics or botanicals to get the desired flavour. Although if you want to try and make your own gin you can use a decent vodka option as an easy base.
What is the difference between gin and vodka?
While some people might think that gin and vodka are pretty much the same, we’re here to tell you that is not the case and why!
Of course, both are clear, grain-based liquors and ‘neutral spirits’ that tend to be easily swappable for one another when making cocktails. The main difference between the two is juniper.
Adding juniper is what gives gin a distinct flavour versus the typically flavourless vodka.
How to make gin at home
When making gin at home, there are some shortcuts you can take that mean you don’t have to distil anything – because who’s got time to set up their own moonshine distillery?! This can include either going out and getting a bottle of vodka or gin and flavouring that to your liking.
If you’re curious about trying this out yourself, here are some great homemade gin recipes that we’ve found:
Image credit: Larder Love
Blackberry and apple gin recipe
Starting off, we have this blackberry and apple gin recipe from Larder Love. Whether you’re a fan of a blackberry drink like Ribena or looking for the perfect alternative to a citrusy gin.
- 1 bottle of cheap gin
- 225g of blackberries
- 225g of apple (red or green)
- 1 bay leaf
- 200g of caster sugar
Now you’ve got all your gin ingredients at the ready, onto making your blackberry and apple gin:
- Wash your apples and berries. Then chop up your apples and bob them into the jar with the berries. Don’t worry about peeling or coring the apple.
- Throw in your bay leaf and add the sugar on top.
- Carefully pour in your gin and put the lid back on, making sure it’s on tight.
- Shake your jar, ensuring it’s all mixed together and leave it in a dark cupboard for 2 weeks.
- For the first week, you’ll need to keep shaking it every day to make sure the sugar properly dissolves.
- Once your gin has been left for two weeks, it should be a deep red colour and the fruit will look ‘rather sad’ (according to Larder Love).
- Now you can strain your gin liqueur through a cheesecloth or paper-lined sieve and put it into whatever sort of sterilised bottle you have available.
Image credit: Lucy Loves
Orange and lime gin recipe
If you’re looking for something more refreshing, then this orange and lime gin from Lucy Loves is a perfect option for summer! Perhaps you could even bring it along to your next BBQ or picnic for everyone to enjoy?
- 1 bottle of cheap gin
- 3 organic, unwaxed oranges
- 2 organic, unwaxed limes
- Tonic water
Here’s what to do:
- Wash your fruit and then zest your oranges and limes trying to avoid the bitter white pitch.
- Throw your zest into a clean jar and then pour in all your gin.
- Put the lid back on the jar (we don’t want any spillage) and shake it well.
- Leave your jar for 3-5 days. The longer you leave it, the more the citrus flavour will come through.
- When you’re happy and feel it’s been left long enough, sieve out your gin mixture over a jug straining out the zest.
- All that’s left to do is pour your orange and lime gin into a clean bottle.
Image credit: Hilda’s Kitchen Blog
Homemade juniper berry gin recipe
But if you’re looking to really challenge yourself then lose the bottle of gin and instead opt for vodka and add in your own juniper berries. We found this easy recipe courtesy of Hilda’s Kitchen Blog to get you going.
- 1 bottle of vodka
- Juniper berries
- Lemon or orange peel
- Cardamom pods (optional)
- Marigolds (optional)
Onto the fun part, making your gin:
- Pour around half a bottle of vodka into a jar or bottle (make sure it’s clean and sterilised).
- Chuck in your juniper berries, cardamom pods, lemon, or orange peels as well as any other aromatics or botanicals you have.
- Put the lid back on your jar or bottle and shake it about so everything mixes together properly.
- Then leave it for 48 hours and after that strain it into another clean bottle or jar.
- And voila! There you have your homemade juniper berry gin ready to impress all your friends.
Of course, homemade gin makes a great and special gift but if this all sounds like too much effort for you, don’t worry! You can still send them a bottle of Salcombe gin with your thortful card which they’re also bound to love.
If you’re interested in trying out something new, check out our how to guides for loads more ideas. And if you want to put your homemade gin to the test, take a look at our pieces on the best gin cocktail recipes or botanical cocktail ideas.