How to Make Bathtub Gin: A Classic Homemade Spirit
Bathtub gin, a term coined during the Prohibition era, refers to homemade spirits made in small quantities. Despite its historical origins, making your own bathtub gin can be a fun and rewarding experience for those interested in mixology and experimentation. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making your own bathtub gin, as well as answer some frequently asked questions.
Ingredients and Equipment:
– 750ml of neutral grain spirit (such as vodka)
– A selection of botanicals (juniper berries, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, citrus peels, etc.)
– A large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
– A fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth
– A funnel
– Empty bottles for storage
1. Start by selecting your botanicals. Traditional gin botanicals include juniper berries, coriander seeds, and citrus peels, but feel free to experiment with other flavors as well.
2. In your glass jar, combine the neutral grain spirit and your chosen botanicals. The ratio of botanicals to spirit will depend on personal preference, but a good starting point is 1 tablespoon of each botanical per 750ml of spirit.
3. Seal the jar tightly and give it a good shake to ensure the botanicals are evenly distributed.
4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 24 hours, allowing the flavors to infuse into the spirit. You can taste the gin periodically to determine the desired strength.
5. After the infusion period, strain the gin through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any solid particles or sediment.
6. Using a funnel, transfer the strained gin into empty bottles for storage. You can also add a personalized label for a professional touch.
7. Enjoy your homemade bathtub gin in classic cocktails like a gin and tonic, martini, or negroni. Get creative and experiment with different mixers and garnishes to discover your own signature drink.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is it legal to make bathtub gin?
– Making spirits at home is illegal in many jurisdictions without the proper permits. Please check your local laws before attempting to make bathtub gin.
2. Can I use any type of alcohol as a base for making gin?
– While neutral grain spirit or vodka is the most common choice, you can experiment with other spirits like rum or brandy for unique flavors.
3. How long does the infusion process take?
– The infusion process typically takes 24 hours, but you can leave it for longer if desired.
4. Can I use dried botanicals instead of fresh ones?
– Yes, dried botanicals can be used, but they may require a longer infusion time to release their flavors.
5. How long can I store bathtub gin?
– If stored properly in a cool, dark place, bathtub gin can last for several months.
6. Can I adjust the strength of the gin?
– Yes, you can adjust the strength by increasing or decreasing the amount of botanicals used during infusion.
7. Are there any safety precautions to consider?
– When working with alcohol, always ensure proper ventilation and avoid open flames.
8. Can I make flavored gin?
– Absolutely! Feel free to add additional flavors like berries, herbs, or spices to create your own unique flavored gin.
9. How do I make a gin and tonic using bathtub gin?
– Fill a glass with ice, add a measure of bathtub gin, and top it off with tonic water. Garnish with a slice of lime or lemon.
10. How do I make a gin martini using bathtub gin?
– In a mixing glass filled with ice, pour a measure of bathtub gin and a measure of dry vermouth. Stir well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon or an olive.
11. Can I gift bathtub gin to friends and family?
– It’s a delightful and thoughtful gift idea! Just make sure to inform your recipients about the homemade nature of the spirit.
12. Can I reuse the botanicals for another batch of gin?
– While the flavors may be slightly diminished, you can reuse the botanicals for a second infusion, albeit with a slightly lighter flavor profile.
Making bathtub gin is a fascinating journey into the world of homemade spirits. With experimentation and a touch of creativity, you can create your own unique gin blend, perfect for enjoying in your favorite cocktails. Remember to adhere to local regulations, and always enjoy your homemade creations responsibly. Cheers!