As part of the Mixoloseum’s Beefeater series, I was inspired to try and recreate it at home. I had been wanting to try a home-steeped gin of the sort I’d been reading about on the blogs. Obviously, I couldn’t redistill after maceration for a proper gin, but perhaps something potable could come out of it. I read (incorrectly, as it turns out) on the internet that Beefeater was made from the following botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root and seed, cassia, licorice, bitter orange peel, and lemon peel. Well, since I have all of those except angelica seed, I decided to give it a go.
Starting with a base spirit of 47% alcohol from a blend of vodka and high proof unaged whiskey, I added the juniper in the evening before bed. In the morning, I added the rest of the ingredients. The pungency of the juniper in the morning made me hopeful. Smells like gin!
Sylvania Gin #1
- 350 ml 47% alcohol
- 1 Tbsp crushed juniper (purple)
- 1/2 tsp crushed coriander
- 1/2 tsp dried angelica root
- 1/4 tsp licorice root
- 1″ stick of cassia (‘regular’ cinnamon)
- 1 tsp lemon peel (fresh zest)
- 1 tsp Seville orange peel (fresh zest) + 1 big dash of dried orange peel tincture
Soak juniper for 24 hours, rest of botanicals for 9 hours. Fine strain.
In the evening, I filtered out the botanicals with a fine nylon strainer bag, and then I tasted it. The juniper pungency got a little lost under the overload of citrus peel. In fact, I seem to have made orange gin. Checking back with my sources, I realized that I had screwed up the ratios. I s’pose that’s what I get, trying to invent recipes early in the morning before work. Anyway, the coriander amount is supposed to be half of the juniper, the rest of the spices one tenth of the juniper and the peels one hundredth of the juniper. Good thing I have an accurate scale for the next batch.
In order to taste my new gin, I mixed a fitty-fitty martini with some Martini and Rossi Bianco. I did not add orange bitters, since I definitely overdid it on the orange addition. Surprisingly, the cocktail was pretty good! The sweetness of the Bianco balanced out the bitter orange of the gin quite well.
Unfortunately, after making up the batch, I discovered that the ingredient list I had found was wrong. For the record, the correct 9 botanicals are: juniper, coriander, angelica root and seed, bitter almond, orris root, licorice, bitter orange peel, and lemon peel. Can you guess what Part 2 of this post will be?