Making your own gin at home

If you’ve taken part in one of the experiences at The City of Aberdeen Distillery then you might well want to try making a bottle of your own gin at home. This is really easy to do and, in most countries, is legal to do providing you use duty paid alcohol. Please do check your local laws.

The process starts with a suitable container – glass is best and we like a sealable mason jar – but lots of others are suitable too.

Your base alcohol must be of a decent quality – the easiest source of this is a bottle of Vodka. The strength should be around 40% ABV but it doesn’t need to be exact. If your starting with 42% ABV then that will be good too, but if your starting with 96% ABV then it is essential to reduce the strength.

Test the quality of the Vodka by trying some – you can use your usual mixer for this and remember the advice we gave you on the tour.

Next we come to the botanicals. The primary botanical in Gin is Juniper betters – you’ll need around a small handful of these. Then Coriander seed and you should look to use around half the quantity of Coriander vs Juniper.

Note you can leave out the Coriander if you don’t like it.  You might consider adding some additional citrus / body flavours to compensate.

Now your other botanicals – around 5 should be enough and for quantity around 1-2 grams for most botanicals. For strongly flavoured botanicals e.g. star anise, use a smaller quantity as they can quickly overwhelm your gin.

Now put your Vodka and botanicals in the jar and let them rest for around 14 days. Try a small amount every 2-3 days to taste how the flavour is developing and once you are happy with it pass the contents of the jar through a fine sieve to remove the botanicals.

Your gin will be coloured – but that’s okay – and you’ll never notice when you mix it with your tonic/lemonade.

Once you’ve made you first bottle you can adjust most of the parameters of the above recipe to tune your gin to your liking.

Have fun with the process, and remember: drink less, drink better 😊

The Scottish Gin Jar