For the holidays, M got me a http://www.homemadegin.com/. No, this doesn’t mean I’ve gotten into home distillation. First off, that’s illegal. Secondly, it’s the sort of thing that’s easy to screw up, resulting in bad things like explosions, blindness, or death. Or something like that.
In any event, this kit’s method is simple. Take some neutral vodka. Infuse juniper overnight. Add an herb mix and infuse further. Strain and it’s gin!
The kit comes with a funnel, strainer, one herb mix, and two bottles. The mix is designed for a 375mL batch. The bottles are great for bottling the product but are not great for making the gin; I found it was easier to use something with a less-narrow mouth.
The result is actually rather fantastic. It reminds me a lot of gins in which the distillate passes through an infusion basket. Like some of these more extreme examples, there’s a lot of compounds extracted in the gin and it can become quite cloudy under mixing. It’s not a mild gin, but it’s a rewarding one.
So, that leads to the problem with this kit. First, I have to buy a nice bottle of gin. Then, for a half bottle of gin, each batch of herbs is … fifteen dollars! Or, the original kit is $50. It’s a fun gift or nice to try once, but the price is way too steep for the volume produced. What’s in the botanical tins could be procured for a couple of dollars at Penzey’s, at most. There’s something to be said for the fact that the kit maker has spent a while perfecting the blend, but the tariff is highway robbery.