You may or may not have heard of the Do Your Gin company. They are a company started by two German brothers from Berlin, who for a nominal fee will send out DIY gin kits. I first heard of them on the podcast of friends, Neil and Annaleis of Dark Angels and Pretty Freaks, who ordered the kit themselves and tried it out. They even had a representative of the company on their podcast to discuss the product. It didn’t take long for several people in our friend group to try it as well and share their homemade gin on social media.
So after great reviews from friends and hearing how much fun they had with the process of making their own gin, I found myself with a kit ordered as well. Initially, it was intended to be a gift, but I ended up keeping it and it became an activity shared with a friend.
The basis of the Do Your Gin kit is to receive all of the ingredients and spices needed to infuse vodka into gin. Gin is basically vodka that has been infused with juniper berries. In the kit, you receive juniper berries, and various other ingredients such as: cardamom, hibiscus, pink pepper, licorice, orange peel, coriander seed, etc. You also receive two glass bottles with corks, two filters, and instructions. You have to go out and buy the vodka, which they recommend to be of medium quality and wheat-based. I went to our local liquor store and landed on a vodka from Finland which I picked for its reasonable price and fun name.
From there, the rest is pretty simple, they even offer three styles to help you get started, traditional, colorful and spirited.
For our gin, I chose a style and our friend Zapata, who my partner Jason has known since high school, chose another style. Jason didn’t have much interest in making a gin, but he did agree to try both with us once they were finished. I went with the colorful style and Zapata with the spirited style. Based on the ingredients listed for each, we figured the colorful would be more reddish and floral, whereas the spirited would be spicy.
We followed the instructions to the letter, putting the appropriate amount of juniper berries into our glass bottles filled with gin, and let it sit for 24 hours. As a tip, a 750ml bottle of vodka will split evenly between both glass bottles provided in the kit. After the 24 hours, we added our respective additional spices and it sat again for another 24 hours. After the second day, everything is removed from the gin, using the filters to strain the ingredients. It is then recommended that you refrigerate the gin for about 8 hours.
So Zapata came over on a Friday for the initial step with the juniper berries, Jason and I took care of straining everything the next day, and then Zapata came back over on Sunday for the taste testing. This is where I admit, I am not a gin drinker, but I was excited to try our creations. As expected, mine had floral and fruity undertones and was a deep red, while Zapata’s was golden in color and had a kick to it, but was also quite smooth. Overall, I would say our first shots (pun intended) at making our own gin turned out quite well. Both bottles are still in our fridge, over half full, but will be finished eventually. Again, I’m not a big gin drinker. However, the Do Your Gin company has a Do Your Whiskey kit(currently available in Europe) which is definitely more to my liking and I can’t wait to get my hands on that one.
For those interested in what we put in our respective gins, I will include the ingredients below. If you’re a fan of gin or are just looking for a fun activity to do with your friends or partner, I would highly recommend ordering a kit for yourself. If you do, let me know how it turns out!
1 test tube of juniper berries
1 pod green cardamom
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp orange peel
1 hint lavender flowers
1 tsp hibiscus flowers
1 1/2 test tubes juniper berries
1 pod green cardamom
3 cubeb pepper
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp laurel
10 pink pepper