Create your own flavoured Gin

Flavoured Gin is one of the hottest topics in the drinks industry at the moment and it’s no surprise that as well as trying out new cocktails using the variety of gin flavours available, we are now infusing our own at home.

How to flavour gin

Infusing alcohol is simply the process of absorbing external flavours into pre-existing alcohol. Natural and artificial flavouring from fruit and herbs help to create the flavour effect you want. The flavoured spirits you buy today are infused in this way. The best spirits to use are white spirits such as Rum, Vodka and Gin. You can also infuse dark spirits such as whisky, but these are a lot more complicated than white spirits. Personally I find Gin the best alcohol base to use as it is the most botanical of all the spirits, and responds extremely well to infusions.

You will need the following to get started:

  • 1 3/4 pint (1 litre) airtight jar , sterilised
  • Fine kitchen strainer
  • Muslin or coffee filter
  • 1 1/4 pints (750ml) base spirit
  • The flavouring of your choice

You can infuse your Gin with whatever fruits and herbs you prefer, I have used Lemon in my instructions below, followed by a list of my favourite infusions for you to try yourself.

Lemon Infused Gin

  • Gather all your equipment. Thoroughly wash all of your flavouring ingredients, insure your bottles or jars are sterilised by filling with boiling water and leaving for a few minutes. Allow the bottle/jar to cool before using. You could also use small jars to make several infusions from the same bottle of Gin.
  • Prepare your ingredients. For our lemon Gin use five lemons, peel these and use a knife to remove any excess pith and place the peel into the base of your jar. Fill the jar with the Gin and lightly stir with a wooden spoon to distribute the infusing flavour. Now Cover the jar tightly.
  • Shake the jar lightly a few times and examine it to ensure there are no impurities such as pips or pith are inside. Now store your jar in a cool dry place.
  • Check your infusion daily shaking lightly to distribute the flavours. After 3 days, taste your Gin everyday until you reach your desired flavour. The longer you leave, the stronger the flavour will become.
  • Once you are happy with the flavour, transfer it into a jug and then strain the Gin into the clean sterilized jar using your strainer. Strain a second time using the muslin, and serve.

Other ingredients to use instead of lemon

Star Anise

a star anise.
A stunning infusion , star anise-flavoured Gin is perfect if you are a fan of pastis and liquorice flavours.
You will need

  • 1 1/3 oz (50g) Star Anise
  • 1 1/4 Pints of Gin

Infusing time 2-3 days
Add a little extra: Enhance the flavour of your Gin by adding 1 tablespoon of whole cardamom pods.

Lavender

Infuse your Gin with lavender for a floral and aromatic flavour.
What you need:

  • 1 1/2 tsp of dried culinary lavender
  • 1 1/4 Pints (750ml) Gin

Infusing time: 1–2 days
Add a little extra: Adding the peel of one lemon with the pith removed can temper the floral notes.

Lemongrass

Use sweet and floral Lemongrass to compliment your Gins botanical flavours
What you need:

  • 2-3 lemongrass stalks cut into chunks
  • 1 1/4 pints (250ml) Gin

Infusing time: 3–5 days
Add a little extra: make your infusion crisp and refreshing by adding a few sprigs of fresh mint.

Grapefruit

Fresh Grapefruit will add a pleasingly tart note to your Gin.
What you need:

  • 1 medium grapefruit peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 1/4 pints (750ml) Gin

Infusing time: 3–5 days
Add a little extra: increase the citrus notes by adding the peel of one lime (pith removed). Also a small chunk of lemongrass will give a more complex flavouring.

Blueberry

Add cooked blueberries to your Gin for a sweet infusion.
What you need:

  • 3 1/2 oz (100g) blueberries, cook over a low heat for a few minutes until they release the juices.
  • 1 1/4 (750ml) Gin

Infusing time: 1–2 weeks
Add a little extra: make your own sloe gin by adding tart sloe berries to this recipe. You can play around with fresh mint or citrus to offset the sweetness from the berries.

Rosemary

Adding fresh Rosemary will help to highlight the savory elements of your Gin.
What you need:

  • 2-3 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 1 1/4 pints (750ml) Gin

Infusing time: 3–5 days
Add a little extra: add a small sliced cucumber that will work beautifully with a tonic.

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