We have moved! And although this is no exciting news by any means, for anyone else except for me and the one person that moved with me (!), there is something interesting about changing places. The change of environment makes me feel like the normal routines and habits have fallen away, even though we have only moved two kilometers away from our former apartment (I know, it really does sound ridiculous, even more when I write it down). Other than the flood of self-help that scarily enough started to show up on Google once I tried to figure out whether it is normal to feel a little lost, I realised that Gretchen Rubin mentioned in her podcast (I really like this one – Happier) that changing environment or jobs often makes it easier to change habits.Thing is, I wasn’t planning on changing any habits. Whether I eat too much cheese or chocolate, I am by no means ready to admit that.
The part that is exciting however, is that I started to browse my Feedly for dinner inspiration yesterday. This might mean that there is space to try new things (or finally start the list I made with things I’d love to make). My first project in our new place is making gin. Yes, making gin at home!
While I was in Amsterdam recently, I saw a really beautiful gift set, holding an empty bottle, a spice mix and the instruction to add vodka to make your own gin. And I thought: we can do this ourselves!
Recipes to make gin vary greatly, to my large surprise. I’ve taken different recipes and simply decided on the ingredients I like most, but please feel free to amend as you like. As this small blog celebrates its first birthday tomorrow (!), I’m happy to say cheers!Homemade Gin
This recipe is inspired by this Guardian recipe and Tim Hayward’s ‘Food DIY’.
As I am a large fan of bold flavors, I will let the mixture mature for three weeks. The instructions differ however, and some authors will only let the ingredients seep for 24-48 hours. Just trust your taste and decide what suits you best.
With regards to the spice mix, I’ve decided against star anise and fennel seeds, although a lot of recipes do seem to prefer this. As their flavors are pretty overpowering, I’ve not added them to my mixture. You could very easily amend this during the maturing process (after two weeks for example) and add them at a later point, so that they won’t give off that much flavor.
- 1 liter of good quality vodka (I recommend using Russian Standard, as the quality is good and the price reasonable)
- 5 grams of coriander seeds
- 2 grams of black peppercorns
- 20 grams of juniper berries
- one long strip of lemon rind (unwaxed)
- 1 short stalk of rosemary (I only used the soft top, approximately 3 centimeters long)
- 3 bay leaves, dried (if you use fresh ones, I’d recommend to only use 2)
- 2 coffee filters & funnel
- clean jar & bottle for storage
Mix all ingredients in a clean, large jar and put it in a dark and cool place for two to three weeks*. Smell the mixture in between to judge whether you like a stronger gin, or whether you’d rather strain the spices out.
Once you like the gin, strain out the spices by using a double coffee filter in a funnel, or a very fine sieve, and pour the mixture into a (nice) bottle.
The expiration date of the drink is not influenced by the spice mix infusion and the bottle will be good for a long time. Cheers!
*Update: in case you decide to bruise the berries before adding them, one week might suffice. Also: allspice berries (just a couple of them) turn out to be a really tasty addition.