Distilled gin is what you usually find at the store, but home mixologists can make compound gin by simply infusing neutral spirits, such as vodka, with juniper berries and other herbs and spices. The tricky part is figuring out the right combination of flavorings, which can be a fun endeavor for the determined DIYer. For beginners, however, the HomeMade Gin Kit is a foolproof way to get started.
The HomeMade Gin Kit comes with juniper berries; a proprietary blend of spices, botanicals, and flowers; a funnel and strainer; and two swing-top bottles so you can keep one and give one to a friend. Add the aromatics to a bottle of affordable $10-20 dollar vodka and in a day and a half you'll have a tasty gin with notes of juniper, coriander, lavender, and cardamom. (For a smoother final product, I recommend an additional straining through a paper coffee filter.) If you like this particular flavor profile, you can also purchase spice refills for future batches.
→ Find it: The HomeMade Gin Kit, $39.95
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(Images: Emily Ho)