Not Martha

DIY Gin, take two

[juniper berries spending time hanging out in some gin]

I made another batch of infused gin, this time using a recipe from Gourmet magazine. I like it a lot more that the first try. This one didn’t call for orange zest, which made a big difference for me since I find orange zest overwhelms everything it comes into contact with.

Ian’s Gin Recipe
(with some very small changes by

  • 1 (750ml) bottle of inexpensive vodka (I ran mine through a Brita filter a few times)
  • 2 Tbsp juniper berries
  • 3/4 tsp coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf, torn into pieces (I used dried)
  • 1 (3-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 (2-inch-long) fresh lemon or lime peel (I used lemon and would avoid lime, then again I say this based on the single time I tried a lime infused gin and didn’t find I liked it)
  • 1 (1-inch) sprig fresh lavender (I used about a teaspoon of dried culinary lavender)

Infuse juniper in the vodka overnight. Add remaining spices and herbs in the morning and let infuse all day. When you get home from work, strain out the botanicals and start making your favorite gin cocktails.

· comments [11] · 06-24-2010 · categories:drink · food ·

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Linda in Chicago // Jun 24, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I’m intrigued by your experiments in making gin, but reluctant to try this with inexpensive vodka. I’ve had problems with “standard” vodkas (the kind used for well drinks at bars) in the past. Just a few sips of these vodkas make me feel…icky. (I know that’s not precise, but that’s the only way I can describe it. I feel like my body has been filled with poison.) It took me years to find that a few vodkas don’t bother me, in fact.

    I was told that if a vodka has more filtering then it would likely not bother me, and I’m wondering if that first step of filtering through a Brita pitcher would be sufficient. Have you had any experience with this?

  • 2 megan // Jun 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Linda – I cannot say for certain if filtering vodka works. I know that Mythbusters confirmed that it does make changes, and casual observations say it takes away some of the bite. But if you find vodka bothers you I wouldn’t try. While this infusing thing has been fun I honestly don’t get the clean, fresh taste that I like in gin.

  • 3 Suzanne // Jun 24, 2010 at 10:02 am

    My boyfriend loves gin and infusing things with spices and herbs… Perfect weekend project!

  • 4 Monika // Jun 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I would never think of making my own gin….but it makes sense, if you’re looking for specific taste, herbal notes….you can control the flavor.
    Looks interesting.

  • 5 Dug // Jun 29, 2010 at 6:28 am

    This sounds like a great idea; I might have to give it a go (and I will credit you with a link in the write up on my own blog (

    I wonder if you could somehow engineer vapour infusion and have the botanicals bathe in alcohol vapour? You tend to get the more delicate flavours this way. Hmm, this line of thought is taking down the home still route.

  • 6 megan // Jun 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Dug – There are instructions out there on how to play around with vapors, I don’t have the space/time/patience/know-how for that. I hope your experiments go well.

  • 7 April G. // Jul 7, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I just made this the other day! I haven’t posted it on my blog yet. I didn’t use rosemary and added 3 or 4 sprigs of lavender. I also used a star of star anise, which I love, but it kind of overpowered everything else!

  • 8 Experiments with Gin « late night jam // Jul 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    […] blew my mind!  I needed to try things out.  Not Martha experimented with two recipes here and here, and I used some of her comments to advise my own process.  I think a big reason to make your own […]

  • 9 Kirsten // Aug 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I just tried this–it came out wonderfully. I left out the lavender, but otherwise followed the recipe. fun! next time I might get whole allspice, so it doesn’t have this murky brown color (despite multiple straining), but otherwise it’s perfect. thanks.

  • 10 Justin // Dec 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I concur on filtering inexpensive vodkas as a very suitable substitute for what sells for $50 a bottle. Grey Goose and the like are ripoffs.

    Personally, as far as infusing goes, I find that less is more. That recipe above looks too much. Rosemary by itself or with a little citrus goes a long way with a bottle of gin.

  • 11 Erica // Nov 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    An inexpensive vodka that’s triple-distilled (better than Grey Goose and Ketel One which aren’t even triple-distilled!) is Smirnoff’s Vodka. Strangely, I was advised this by a Duty Free shop worker at the Keflavik airport in Iceland who said they did a blind taste test of those three vodkas with all the employees and Smirnoff was the fav by everyone. He was right!

    Anyway, thanks for this recipe – looking forward to making it!

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