Just before Christmas-time I asked to receive a kit in the mail as a sample. It arrived in a nice box with the words clearly written on the outside of the box, Homemade gin kit. I'd never made gin before, love to drink it and thought why not? I should be able to follow directions for something!
I contacted Sarah Maiellano through Twitter and she put a kit into the mail for me. It arrived in a few days and I opened the box when received.
It came handsomely wrapped in sturdy cardboard with a nice red ribbon around the box. Very celebratory!
Inside there was a funnel, some metal jars filled with botanicals and spices/juniper berries and a sieve. Two bottles were also inside with snap down lids. Very handy because I didn't see myself drinking an entire bottle of gin in one go!
There are instructions inside that say use cheap vodka. I'd never use cheap vodka. I used Bluewater Organic Vodka from my friend John Lundin in Seattle.
The bottles were old fashioned looking. Very hand crafted! Fitting of a homemade product.
Nice fat juniper berries were in one of the containers. They were quite fragrant and filled the room with a gorgeous scent!
So far so good!
You take juniper berries and botanicals. Add them to the vodka (don't skimp!) and set this bottle into a dark cool place for 24 hours.
Then you add the botanicals and wait another 36 or so hours. I forgot about mine and left the juniper berries and the botanicals in there for about a week.
Not that doing this is bad, quite the opposite! What I discovered is that the distillate becomes a lovely dark shade. I don't want clear gin, I like my gin unfiltered!
I declare that the color of the end result is very much like the color of twenty year old Pappy Van Winkle!
Brightly flavored of citrus and dark stone fruits. The quality of the Bluewater Vodka shine through. Yes this is gin, through and through. But the core of rationality is Bluewater Vodka.
I wish the kit made more. I want more!
Gin Fling Cocktail
2 oz. Grilled Grapefruit juice (ruby red if you can get it) Grill rounds of grapefruit juice or sear until charred, let cool, then juice
3 oz. your homemade gin
1 oz. Royal Rose Simple Syrup of Three Chilies
4 drops Bitter End Mexican Mole bitters
3 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water
Mave "Inspired Water" Ice cubes infused with citrus zests, grapefruit-orange-lemon-lime
To a Boston shaker:
Fill the shaker 3/4 with regular ice
Add: The homemade gin
The Royal Rose Syrup
Bitter End Mexican Mole bitters
Shake vigorously for 13 seconds
Add 3 infused Mavea "Inspired" Ice cubes to a Collins glass
Strain the gin and botanicals over the ice cubes and finish with the Perrier Sparkling Water
This drink becomes more citrus driven as the ice cubes melt!
Warren Bobrow is the Food and Drink Editor of the 501c3 non profit Wild Table on Wild River Review located in Princeton, New Jersey.
He was one of 12 journalists world-wide, and the only one from the USA to participate in the Fêtes de la Gastronomie- the weekend of September 22nd. 2012 in Burgundy and Paris.
He attended Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2011/2012.
Warren presented and demo'd freestyle mixology at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon. (2012)
Warren judged the Iron Mixology competition at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival (2012)
Warren has published over three hundred articles on everything from cocktail mixology to restaurant reviews to travel articles.
You may also find him on the web at: http://www.cocktailwhisperer.com
Warren is a published food writer and former cook.
He's written food and cocktail articles and news for Edible Jersey, Chutzpah Magazine, Voda Magazine, Tasting Table, Serious Eats and Total Food Service Magazine.
Warren attended the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks Day Races this year while on assignment for Voda Magazine.