Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
It seems as though everywhere you look these days you see a house made tonic. Bars (and customers, too) love the brown version of their favorite bitter mixer. With quinine available with more regularity than ever before and the internet full of tonic recipes, one can, with relative ease, put together their own tonic. I like that. The more people make from scratch, the better your cocktail will be. I decided that instead of making tonic for our most recent gin and tonic, that we would infuse some gin.
Lately, I’ve been drawn to American dry gins moreso than London dry gins. American versions tend to drop a bit of the juniper and to kick up the citrus and spice notes. So it was in this mold that I picked my gin direction. Of course, a gin must have juniper to be considered a gin at all, but the varying levels of juniper lead to varying balances and tastes.
You can use your google and determine the most prevalent gin spices. They include juniper, coriander, cardamom, citrus peel, star anise, clove, and many, many more. Given that we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but just to create a unique flavor profile, the majority of these spices work for my purposes. We chose to also add chamomile and lavender for a more floral take on our cocktail. In the end, here is what we settled on.
Fresh orange peel
Dried bitter orange peel
Sweet bitter orange peel
100 proof neutral spirit
So, you ask, what shall we do with our house infused gin? A great starting point is always a gin and tonic. Grab your favorite tonic (mine is Fever Tree), add two ounces of gin, some tonic and some ice, a lime wheel and drink. Tasty, right?
If you’re looking for another cocktail, try a floral and herbaceous Last Word. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
3/4 oz house infused gin
3/4 oz green chartreuse
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz maraschino liqueur
Shake, strain, serve up and garnish with a cherry.