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gin blends

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gin blends

Postby kiwi » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:53 pm

I've been getting into gin recently. tried to get this started across the road but no bites, except of olddog of course, legend that he his. thought I'd chuck it up here to see if it catches any replies :)

The tricky thing with gin is getting your botanicals blend just right, and I thought it might be interesting to hear what everyone else is doing. So, I thought I'd have a go a starting a 'share your botanicals blend' thread.

One thing that should be specified is what style of gin, so distilled gin (macerate then redistill with/without botanicals in boiler), Vapour infusion (gin basket / clip, botanicals in the vapour path), Uncle Remus-style (condensed distillate flows through botanicals, I don't think this has a proper name) or Compound Gin (make an essence, add to neutrals). feel free to add a tasting note or two.

So, post em, even if they're part of a recipe thread that's been buried somewhere.

I'll kick it off with my two-

kiwi's Vapour infusion blend:

for ~5 litres of product:
5l of neutral at your desired drinking strength, then add some water for the gods of safety
    3 tablespoons of juniper according to taste (mine are dried)
    4 almonds
    about 2 inches of lemon zest - no pith!
    a single clove
    a cm of cassia quill
    1 green cardomon pod
    about a teaspoon of coriander seeds - can use fresh leaves for a more.... grassy (?) product
    about a teaspoon of dried licorice root

botanicals smashed up and put in the vapour path or a pot still. very delicate gin, suited to martinis or other cocktails. lighter than bombay sapphire, long nutty aromatic finish.

kiwi's Distilled Gin
in 3.5l of 95%:
5-6 heaped tablespoons of dried juniper, probably about 45-50g
6 green cardamon pods,
1/2 teaspoon bitter orange peel
3 strips of lime (strip being a knife fillet of zest from the top to bottom of fruit, about 4cm?)
2 strips of lemon
1/2 teaspoon fennel
1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
2.5 heaped tablespoons coriander
2 almonds
6 black peppercorns
2 pods of star anise (i.e. two arms of the star, not two whole stars)
2cm of cassia quill
1 teaspoon of licorice root.

mortar and pestle, then macerate for 3 days, dilute to 40% and redistill with botanicals in a cotton bag in boiler. A heavy gin, great for tonic and tom collins' etc. I love this blend, wouldn't know what to change, except maybe to back off on cardamom slightly? heavy juniper citrus hit, with a smooth aromatic finish that shows off the cardamon, anise and fennel.

Your turn! looking forward to hearing some others.

kiwi
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Re: gin blends

Postby Wai`ona » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:57 pm

In your infused gin you say you can use fresh corriander leaves instead of the seeds. Aren't corriander leaves cilantro? They have a completely different taste and smell than corriander seeds. (some think they smell like bedbugs)

Do you use ground or whole seeds? Freshly crushed whole seeds have volatiles that have been lost in the store-bought pre-ground seeds.

Thanks for your gin threads. I'm beginning to play around with gin recipes. My dad is a gin drinker (me too). He likes my neutral, but has been after me to try making gin. (he's cheap, wants free gin :lol: )

He dissed my homebrew until I knocked his socks off with my Bayerisch Weissbier. Says it's as good as any he's had in Bayern. (High praise from one who is pretty stingy with praise).
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Re: gin blends

Postby kiwi » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:07 pm

um I find the fresh leaves kinda grassy, citrusy tasting. Use them quite a lot in cooking. Maybe I have a weird strain of coriander growing here?

Whole seeds, freshly crushed (I LOVE my massive mortar and pestle). I try to get fresh stuff when I can, if I can't (which is normal) I go for whole dried stuff and grind it up and immediately put it in whatever I'm using it in, maceration or column.

Yeah it's summer now, so gin time for me :8)
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Re: gin blends

Postby Wai`ona » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:41 pm

Corriander comes from the Greek word corios (bedbugs). I love the fresh leaves. Thai food would not be Thai food without it. Same-same for my picante. It is also called Chinese parsley (around here).

I make a corriander lager that is delicious. It is a Oktoberfest (marzen) style beer with couple of ounces of fresh crushed corriander seeds added at the end of the boil.
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Re: gin blends

Postby kiwi » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:48 pm

I don't know what bedbugs smell like :( I guess we're talking about the same plant. One botanical that I'm going to experiment with next is Lemon Basil. I love playing with recipes.
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Re: gin blends

Postby Wai`ona » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:59 pm

kiwi wrote:I don't know what bedbugs smell like :( I guess we're talking about the same plant. One botanical that I'm going to experiment with next is Lemon Basil. I love playing with recipes.

Crush some fresh corriander (cilantro) leaves and you'll know what bedbugs smell like. :shock: :D :wink:
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Re: gin blends

Postby vb » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:48 am

best gin I ever made I didn't use neutral as a base, I used rice spirit came off wonderfully.

I do just a basic botanical mix: Juniper, lemon peel, anise, corriander and cinnamon. I will throw a little ginger and sweet basil in sometimes as well.
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Re: gin blends

Postby kiwi » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:25 pm

Anyone out there feel like replicating a gin and letting me know what they think of it? Receiving rave reviews around here but I'd like another gin maker's opinion.

* 100g juniper (not very fresh, so upped it from my normal recipes)
* 2 heaped teaspoons of coriander seed
* 1 heaped teaspoon of orris root
* 1/2 teaspoon of dill tips
* 5 black peppercorns
* 1 green cardamon pod
* 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
* 1.5cm x 1cm of cinnamon bark (the thick stuff, not the quills)
* 1 teaspoon nepeta petals (yup, catnip - I use Nepeta x faassenii, just what's handy. :) )
* 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary petals (probably equal to a leaf or two if not in flower)
* 1 sweet basil leaf
* 1/2 a lemonade lemons zest (substitute meyer lemon I guess?)
* 1/4 a ripe tangelo's zest

10L of 40% neutral from fruit, botanicals in the mortar and then vapour infusion in the column.

Cut at 30%, pretty high, but wasn't getting much flavour below that, just a bit of cardamon.

Could probably raise the neutral charge by a litre or two - this gin is constantly on the verge of louche, put it in the freezer or put some in tonic and it clouds up nicely with a lilac tint.

The obvious criticism is that there are a lot of different botanicals in there, but I think it works well. The dill / nepeta / rosemary / basil combo really adds a freshness to the nose that I haven't found with simpler recipes.

Anyway, would be awesome if someone felt like making some.
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Re: gin blends

Postby vb » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:42 pm

I promised my stepdad we'd make some gin while I was out visiting him at Christmas,
I'll have to take a look at it then.
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Re: gin blends

Postby Azframer » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:06 am

Damn it is a shame I can't stand Gin and I live around junipers. When I go wood cutting I cut dead juniper trees because the logs will burn all night and you will have coals in the morning to throw another log onto. It will out last oak, also oak is hard to find here. :oops:
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Re: gin blends

Postby Dado » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:47 pm

Hey Kiwi - I'm interesting in trying this but must first run through a series of all-grain experiments - maybe mid-January before I can switch gears.

In all honesty I'm a bit confused by gin - Dutch Gin, British Gin (London & Plymouth), Old Tom, etc - I gather Dutch gin is actually made from malted grains but I don't have a definitive reference on what's what.
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Re: gin blends

Postby kiwi » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:24 am

Don't let the London and Plymouth thing throw you, that's just place of origin labelling for the most part. Aside from Jenever (made from at least some malt spirit, like you've already said, the wiki article on it is pretty good), the main types that I reckon are important to recognise as a home distiller are compound (make an essence and add it to neutral), distilled (macerate and or boil with botanicals), and vapour infusion (botanicals in the vapour path).

Old tom isn't a dry gin like most (all?) modern commercials - it's sweetened. I haven't heard of anyone making it.
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Re: gin blends

Postby vb » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:53 am

Plymouth Gin uses only sweet botanicals, no bitter flavors, like orange peel for example, you can get sweet or bitter peels Plymouth only uses the sweet. London Dry has a mix of sweet and bitter, but no flavors can be added after the distillation.
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Re: gin blends

Postby kiwi » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:18 pm

Experimenting with giving the above recipe a bit of backbone today - licorice root, almond... If it turns out alright I'll post up the specifics.
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Re: gin blends

Postby adama » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:41 am

Hey Kiwi
What sort of a boiler do you use with your gin work; is it a converted pressure cooker or something similar under 10 litres?
(a pic would be nice).
The smallest boiler I have is 28 litres - I'm fearin' that it may be too big to knockout 6 bottles to gin-juice (thinking that 5 to 6 litres of neutral in my boiler is somehow "under-proportioned" to the boiler; but then again I may be crazy).

By the way, I used to go with DWWG to make a neutral but now I've switched to Birdwatchers tomato paste for the cleanest neutral; the ingredients are easily obtained and cheap.

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