Turns out it is actually very easy to make your own fruity gins, you just need a bit of patience! We’ve not got a small collection of flavours, some from following recipes and some from just experimenting! It all started with “I have some gooseberries left in the freezer, we’ve made jam and crumble already, what next?!” Boom, a quick internet search later we were making our first steeped gin!
You don’t need expensive gin for this, we’ve been buying the “London gin” in Aldi, which actually won awards too and is only £10 for the smaller bottle.
I’m a preserver, so had some of these 1L kilner jars available in the cupboard, so we sterilised it ready for use. (Many methods for this. I clean mine in hot soapy water, run hot fresh water over it to remove any residue and bake in the oven at 120 degrees C to ensure it’s safe. Allow to cool, then put your prepped ingredients in.)
The first one we made was gooseberry and it was easy as mine had already been frozen. Allowed them to defrost and heated them up in a saucepan and gave them a quick “mash” with the spoon to make sure the skins had broken, added them to my jar, then added sugar and poured in the gin until the jar was full.
The reason for freezing the gooseberries first, is to help break down the skin and cell structure to allow the steep to be the most effective. Sugar is to taste. I added enough gooseberry mush to get half way up the 1L jar, added granulated sugar for 1/4 of the jar, then filled with gin.
This will need a good shake to help distribute the sugar and you should see most of it dissolve. Then store it in a dark cool place you have access to, as you’ll need to give it a good shake every day for the first 2 weeks to ensure all the sugar has actually dissolved. We were patient enough to leave ours for 4 months before trying it.
You can try a spoonful or so every few weeks to decide if for your tastes is needs more sugar, also you can check if for you the taste is strong enough – we are all different after all!
When you think it’s ready, use a muslin if you have one and strain out all the fruit, bottle your gin in a sterile bottle and drink at your leisure!
We’ve now experimented with quite a few flavours as you can see!