You will recall that on Monday I began making gin.
Yesterday I finished making gin. This is a true thing.
On Monday, I put some juniper berries in some vodka to soak for 24 hours. On Tuesday, I added what we in the gin industry refer to as “botanicals”:
There’s angelica root, gentian root, star anise, lemongrass, lemon peel, black pepper, and lovage (which had survived in the garden enough to give me what I needed). Based on cursory reading on the intertubes, I measured out two grams of everything and dumped it all in. It steeped overnight.
Yesterday I began taste-testing it, and by lunchtime it was clear that the botanicals—the lovage in particular—were threatening to overwhelm the gin qua gin. I strained everything out, doubled the amount of vodka to dilute it, put more juniper in, added some coriander, and let it ride until cocktail hour. Then I strained it all out, bottled it, and began testing it.
Okay, so… it’s not a sippable gin. This will never compete with Ayrer’s Single Malt Gin from Nuremberg, for example. More work is required before I get to that point.
Gin & tonic: quite delectable.
The Smoky Topaz. Oh my. My recipe calls for barrel-aged gin, but this gin added several other dimensions to this most fabulous of cocktails. That which is a too-strong presence of lovage when you sip the gin straight becomes a fantastic lingering undertone in the Smoky Topaz.
The trick will be seeing if I can repeat it.