Tag Archives: gin

Home Macerated Gin – Part 1

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!

ginbottleSylvania 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.fittyfitty

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?

Beefeater Gin Review

As part of a series of Beefeater product features over at the Mixoloseum, last Thursday’s Drink Night (TDN) theme was Beefeater gin. As usual at the Mixoloseum Bar, many original drinks were created, submitted and enjoyed. The next online event will feature Beefeater 24, a new luxury gin and its introduction to the American market. This new product is differentiated from their original one by the additions of Japanese sencha and Chinese green teas, as well as grapefruit peels.

Dan Warner, brand ambassador for Beefeater gin, joined in the fun. He shared with us some fascinating facts about Beefeater, like the fact that there are only 6 employees at their sole plant in London producing 2.4 million cases a year. Beefeater is the only major distiller left producing London Dry gin in the city of London. He also dropped tidbits like the Negroni being a favorite of Desmond Payne, Beefeater’s celebrated Master Distiller. Dan even hinted that he might return on the TDN discussing Beefeater 24 on 4/30.

beefeater

The Gin

I’ve always been pleased with Beefeater as a mixing gin, but in order to taste the individual components, I tasted it neat and then slightly diluted with water. The first smell on opening a bottle yielded the sharp aroma of juniper and citrus. Upon sipping the undiluted spirit, I tasted the rounded soft spiciness of the coriander. The mouth feel was rich and even a bit oily. The mid palate had a bit of a pleasant woody flavor, probably from the licorice and angelica root. The finish was bitter but not lingering. Overall the impression was very crisp and clean.

They don’t call this London Dry Gin for nothing. Beefeater is proud of their 24 hour maceration claiming that the “long steeping time gives a gentler extraction, but builds complexity, and fixes the aroma in the spirit more solidly.” The resulting bold and clean flavor makes it a great mixing gin. I love the sharp citrus tang of Beefeater relative to other gins. When you mix a drink with Beefeater, you know that you’ve put gin in there! Sometimes you want the gin to be the star, like in a gin and tonic, a Martinez, or a Clover Club. Orange drinks like a Bronx or Monkey Gland really benefit from a bold gin like this; otherwise the drink can get a little soft on you. But other times you want your gin to play more of a  supportive role. For a drink like a Suffering Bastard, I recommend a mellower, more rounded gin.

Just recently at the market, I happened to come across fresh bergamot fruit, and having been waiting over a year and a half  since reading about the following recipe at Married with Dinner, I snapped up the last one and made the following:
fridayafterfive

Friday After FiveMarried with Dinner

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 ounce bergamot juice
  • 1 dash Herbsaint, absinthe or Pernod

Shake over ice, and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a bergamot twist, if desired.

I have to say that this was my first experience with a real bergamot and I was totally impressed. As soon as my peeler bit into the peel, the pleasantly sharp odor of fine Earl Grey tea sprang into the air and surrounded me. I peeled the whole thing and set the peels out to dry for later use. This bergamot was quite tart, so I ended up adding a dash more Chartreuse to sweeten it a bit. The Friday After Five was still pretty tart, but the aromas of the bergamot peel worked well with the aromatics of the gin and the herbal sweetness of the Chartreuse. I was reminded of Audrey Sander’s MarTEAni, made with Earl Grey tea infused gin. So much so that I was inspired to invent the:

Trans-Europa

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/4 oz Earl Grey infused gin (Tanqueray – 4 tbsp loose tea to a bottle for 2 hours)
  • 3/4 oz bitter Seville orange juice
  • 1/4 oz green Chartreuse
  • 1/4 simple syrup (or more as needed)

Shake, strain and serve up with a bitter orange twist.

I’m a big fan of Beefeater gin because of its bold, high quality taste coupled with its affordable price point. I have been stocking Beefeater as my house gin for some time now because sometimes you just need a gin with some oomph when mixing. Personally, I’m really excited about the American release of Beefeater 24. I hope you can come on down to the Beefeater 24 TDN we are having on 4/30.