Have you looked out the window today? The sun is out and the weather is great for socialising. If you fancy something more creative in the way of gin flavours this season, then why not get inventive and have a go at flavouring your own craft gin. Different flavoured infusions are all the rage, and let’s face it, what could be more rewarding than playing around with the basic types of gin to make something a little more special that is all your own work. So here are some imaginative ideas to get you started.
Infusing gin is really fun and easy. It’s a good way to brighten the summer evenings with friends and get the satisfaction of making something delicious yourself. So start by grabbing yourself a trusted staple like London Dry-style, which is clean enough to avoid distracting from your added taste. You could go for something even more basic if you’re looking for cut-price gin to use, but bear in mind some brands could affect the taste. We recommend going for something solid to begin and you can experiment later.
But what goes with gin?
When it comes to picking a flavour to try, we suggest you start by giving something that’s in season. Free ingredients! Go out and gather some blackberries or elderflowers. You can store these in the freezer if you have too many. Strawberries are also a good bet, and blueberries if you can find them. (You can cheat. They sell them in Lidl!) Or how about something a little more unusual like chilli gin, or rhubarb. If you have a herb garden, why not pick something like rosemary or lavender. Or even mint. After a bit of trial and error, you’ll soon get to discover which infusions are your favourite.
How much should you add?
Well, that depends. If you’d like a strong flavour, boost the amount of added ingredients per portion of gin. Something more subtle? Then more gin, fewer berries - herbs or whatever.
Get yourself a glass container that you can sterilise beforehand, and seal afterwards. Then pour in the gin and add your herbs, spices or other flavourings. But remember. Different ingredients take different lengths of time to infuse. For example. If you’re going to add a vanilla pod to your gin, you can take it out again later in the day. The same goes for cardamom seeds or chilli pepper. That’s all it will take for the drink to take on the distinctive edge. On the other hand, if you’re using vegetables, they’ll need more like a week. Most fruit is likely to need a few weeks or even a month to get the best flavour. But if you try something like a subtler apple, that’ll probably need a month or so.
When all the infusing has happened, it’s time to filter the mixture to remove the ingredients from the flavoured gin. For this you can use a fresh coffee filter, or some clean fine weave muslin. The resulting drink will be good for the whole year, if you can wait that long to drink!
Flavoured gin also makes a great gift if you bottle it and add your own label. Your friends are going to be dead impressed with your creativity, and you could even end up with a gin tasting party to compare each other’s infusing skills. Now, that’s gotta be a great way to spend the long summer evenings…