I’m At Christmas it’s always great to have something homemade to give as a gift to friends and family. This year my gift was the gift of Christmas gin!
Pretty bottle too!
Now I’ve not started an illegal still in my flat – the way I made Christmas gin is to flavour gin or vodka with spices and other botanicals or ‘bathtub style’.
This name for making gin was made popular during prohibition when people would flavour illegally distilled alcohol literally in their bathtubs.
The method is to pick your botanicals and to leave hem to macerate in the alcohol for as little or as long as you need to get the flavour you want. For example you can make strawberry basil gin by macerating the soft fruit and herbs (separately) overnight or just for 24 hours.
For my Christmas gin I chose a longer period of about two weeks and ended up with the deep golden colour as the alcohol picked it up from the spices.
Coriander and cinnamon are traditional botanicals for gin, I absolutely adore gin with cardamom too! The nutmeg, cloves and allspice were the Christmas addition to the flavours.
For this particular bottle I started with a bog standard London dry gin that we had knocking around the flat – one left over from when Laura had a pub. No one would drink this gin given our huge selection of more interesting ones, so it seemed like a good way to make it special.
I also made another batch starting with some normal vodka – to make this into a gin I needed to add juniper berries to my botanicals – luckily Waitrose in Camden had these in stock!
I added the botanicals a little haphazardly – a couple of cinnamon sticks, a few cloves, a tea spoon of allspice etc and I think slightly less of the cloves / allspice word best!
After a week allowing the flavours to meld with the booze I tried the gin and tweeted anything needed. The main addition I added at this stage was citrus. To me gin has to have a citrus component and whilst this can be emphasised by the coriander a fresh citrus peel brings a great zing to the nose and the palate.
So the gin got Seville orange and lemon peel – thanks Tiva for bringing these back for me! The vodka got grapefruit and lemon peel.
After another few days (and copious tasting!) I decided it was ready. A pack of mini bottles was purchased from Amazon and the bottling up for gifts commenced!
Gifts ready for giving – and perfect sized for stocking fillers!
Have you tried making your own flavoured alcohol for gifts?! Get some inspiration! Happy Christmas 🎄😃