So, we’ve been self isolating for 34 days and I’ve made our first batch of ‘bathtub’ gin – those two statements are obviously not linked!! The name bathtub gin comes from the US Prohibition era when the term was used to describe any illegally made alcoholic drink – the most popular being gin. The gin jugs were too big to fit under a sink tap (water was used to dilute the alcohol) hence the name bathtub gin. We’ve been talking about making gin for ages – now we have no excuse and on the basis it’s ridiculously easy I can see that it might become a great lockdown hobby! Just have to make sure we don’t drink it at the same rate I make it ….
The recipe I’ve given below was my own first experiment – juniper berries must be the main botanical but otherwise you can pretty much put in whatever botanicals or citrus peel you fancy. Cardamom gin is a bit more exciting than cardamom tea!
Equipment: clean empty bottle with stopper (sterilise using boiling water), funnel
Ingredients: 750ml vodka (at least 37.5% ABV), juniper berries, orange peel, coriander seeds, cardamom pods (bruise them for a stronger flavour).
After a week try your gin – use a strainer so you don’t get a glass full of berries, seeds and pods – if you want a stronger flavour, infuse for longer. Once you’re happy with the flavour strain into a clean bottle (or just sieve and serve!). It won’t be clear as you have to re-distill the gin, but the taste will be the same. Apparently if you put it through a Brita filter some of the colour can be removed; sounds like unnecessary hassle to me and there’s nothing wrong with the golden amber colour of this first cardamom gin batch!