Have you ever made your own gin? It’s a really fun and simple project, plus it’s so much fun! Don’t worry; you won’t need a distillery or any special equipment either. Traditionally, gin was made by simply infusing a neutral spirit with juniper berries and other botanicals.
While today, most distilleries use a much more complicated process, you can indeed create a rather unique gin right in your own home. Plus, foraged botanicals and liquor infusions? Well, that sounds very much like tincture making, and it’s very much in my wheelhouse! And with the holidays just around the corner, this Christmas Gin is a winner on the homemade gift list.
What Goes in Homemade Gin?
This is the best part: the ingredient list is simple. When I first decided that I wanted to make Gin for Christmas gifts, I combed through dozens of recipes. Some sounded too plain, some had botanicals that I knew would be hard to find, and others had ingredients that I felt would compete with the finished flavor. So, I tested a few combinations and came up with this simple recipe that smoothly combines the flavors of the season. Our version requires Juniper Berries, Lemon and Orange Rind, Raw Honey, Star Anise, Black Pepper Corns, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Bark, Thyme, and a neutral spirit like vodka.
How to Make Christmas Gin
The process for this is as simple as it gets. This recipe can be reduced or multiplied as many times as needed to fill your gift list.
4 Tbls Dried Juniper Berries
2 Pieces of Lemon Rind (approx ½” x 3”)
2 Pieces of Orange Rind (approx ½” x 3”)
2 tsp Raw Honey
2 Star Anise Pods
12 Black Pepper Corns
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tbls Dried Thyme
48 fl oz of High-quality Vodka
Combine all of your aromatic herbs, spices, juniper berries, and citrus peels in a large glass jar. Pour your vodka in over them and shake to combine.
Place the bottle in a cool, dark place for 24 hours, giving it a shake once or twice during that time period. The combination of all of these lovely botanicals will make a tasty and herbaceous brew.
At the 24-hour mark, your infused gin will be a rich golden color (that’s the herbal goodness coming through.) Taste your gin to determine if the flavors are deep enough to meet your taste. If you prefer a richer flavor, you can leave it for up to another 24 hours. Once you’re happy with the flavor, sieve your gin, bottle it, and label it.
We hope you enjoy this Christmas Gin as much as we do. If you make a batch for gift-giving or for yourself, be sure to tell us all about it in the comments below. From our homestead to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy, (boozy) holiday season. Until next time,