Gin has definitely been an acquired taste for me, like red wine. It has only been my tipple of choice in my 30’s.
I was inspired to add ‘making my own gin’ to my bucket list after discovering the delicious Manchester Gin and visiting their very own The Spirit of Manchester Distillery under the arches in Manchester city centre. In 2019 my mum and I went on a distillery tour and guided tasting, at just £20 this was an absolute bargain. The distillery is also combined with a restaurant ‘Three Little Words and my family enjoyed a meal there in January 2020 for my birthday before the world went on fire.
Another event they offer is a gin making experience for £85 pp. Both mum and I were keen to try this out, however lockdown happened and we are unable to enjoy things like this in the current climate.
For my birthday this year my best friend Matt bought me a home gin making kit which included two gin bottles, a kilner jar, strainer and botanicals – everything you need to make your own bespoke gin.
My brother and sister in law also bought me a gin related gift which was the Vemacity Ultimate Gin Making Kit with lots more botanicals, recipes and ginspiration.
In keeping with the gin theme, my mum bought me the most FABULOUS gin trolley, which looks incredible in my new living room.
Let the Gin Making Begin
So one Saturday in lockdown I decided it was time to unpack the gin making kit and get cracking with my first batch. So off I went to Aldi for their cheapest vodka as the blank canvas for the botanicals to work their magic on. With 70cl of vodka and 30g of juniper berries the process was initiated. This was left for 48hrs to infuse.
After 48hrs I chose the additional botanicals to make my first bespoke gin. Now I am partial to a ‘pink gin’ but I wanted to try something different for my first batch. After consulting the Vemacity recipe suggestions I settled on ‘Citrus Symphony’.
Citrus symphony contains 1 scoop of essential blend, lemongrass and orange & lemon peel. Once added this was left to infuse for a further 48hours. The advice is to taste test after 48hrs.
The End Product
After allowing the additional botanicals a further 48hrs to diffuse, it was time to filter and transfer into the gin bottle to mature for a while. Whilst the gin in its current form doesn’t look very appealing, I can confirm it smelt citrus’y and like gin.
No.116 Gin Batch #001
The first batch of No.116 gin has been bottled up and is sitting pride of place on the gin trolley. I plan to taste test it at the weekend, with some posh tonic and complimentary garnish and allllllllllll the ice.#
I would recommend giving this a go, it was super easy and fun. I’m going to try a ‘colour changing’ gin next – watch this space!!
Who needs a gin subscription when you can get creative at home with a bottle of vodka and some dried botanicals. If you give it a go, tag me on IG @iheartmcr1984, I would love to see what flavour combos you come up with, to give me some new ginspiration.