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BYO IDEAS: Gin making made as easy as cooking

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20/04/2018
Written by Gin Foundry

If you love gin and you are reading this, the chances are you’ll also be a food lover. After all, to be a discerning drinker and to have no interest in the culinary arts would be a highly unusual thing.

Many appreciate the creativity that goes into cooking and most will love implementing some of the super “chef’y” things at home too. While the aspects we bring into our own lives are often just a reduction of the big idea they talk about on TV programmes and of the things you see in the famous restaurants, it’s fun adding them into the process of cooking at home. Be it a technique made just made easy enough to be possible by mere mortals or a flavour combination that’s both unique yet distinct – there’s so much that’s achievable to implement at home so long as there’s a little bit of curiosity and some simplification.

We love cooking, eating, drinking and repeating the whole process all over again. There are times where it can be elaborate, and others when we need a quick fix because, quite frankly, we can’t be bothered. We also love how drink, from a simple glass of wine to fancy pants cocktails can be a part of that process.

Yet when it comes to making drinks – it seems we’re miles off a wide reaching mass adoption of anything but the most basic of cocktail recipes. It’s a big part of why the G&T is so much more popular than a Tom Collins or even a Red Snapper. A Singapore sling on a school night? Forget it.

If you think that blending cocktails are still a frontier for many, blending the spirit that goes into a drink is even further still. That’s partly because of the fact that while many may have thought of it “the big idea” in this instance, has seldom been made simple enough to do at home. Nor have the tools have never really been within everyone’s grasp either… until now.

This independently minded thinking is exactly what made us want to release BYO. We wanted to give people the chance to create their own boozy blends and to give them high-end tools to do it. Not a load of dried botanicals to have to make brown compounded gins some 5 days after they started – distillates they could blend and build away from, with immediate effect and with incredible results, entirely controlled by them, not pre-determined by the mix in a sachet.

Just like taking the idea of something from a restaurant (be it a way to marinate food or how they present it on a platter), we wanted to make the seemingly unachievable and make it easy. We’ve deliberately kept it simple or as complicated as people want it too. You can enjoy each distillate on it’s own, or you can blend them all and make a 32 botanical strong mega mix. They are great with tonic, or served in the most complex of punches imaginable.

Living with the flavour library of distillates, we’ve started to see them as we do other ingredients we use for cooking – but for booze. When we want to make something, either for an occasion or just for a drink, we pick a few and blend away. The constant factor that we’re reminded of when it comes to blending gin (or even making any gin recipe), is just how similarly you can lend a cooking style and the flavours that define a certain cuisine into an idea for a blend.

For example – Thai cuisine with its cardamom, lemongrass and use of fresh herbs and bright flavours can be such fun to try and recreate in a blend (as many existing gin owners have with their products on the market).

For the past three months, we’ve been making a weekly gin at home and exploring the various G&T’s that might work for the occasion… The aim was to provide some inspiration for how you can use the distillates once you have them, or which ones to pick in the BYO bundles if you are still undecided…

A quick solid gin:

Sometimes, you want a good, solid gin that’s not a pain to make – something great for when you just want something simple, but that delivers a satisfying moment. Consider it a quick cook pasta equivalent.

50 ml Juniper, 30 ml Coriander Seed, 10ml Angelica (makes two drinks)

Classic Gin, with a few more layers:

We take the idea of a “house gin” quite seriously. Just as you might have your “Go To” dish, the one you are known for and that you proudly lay on for guests ’round for dinner, this is a great start point for the equivalent in gin.

70ml Juniper, 35ml Coriander, 10ml Angelica, 10ml Basil and 10ml Rhubarb, 5ml Orange, and 10ml Cardamom (makes a 150ml bottle)

The Patisserie Patrol:

Inspired by a love of Mille Feuilles and by a strong believe that sometimes you just need an indulgent treat – we tinkered away to make an idea fit for those moments. For those who love a Martinez, this is the kind of full, sweeter gin that works beautifully too…

50 ml Juniper, 20ml Tonka, 10ml Apricot, 10ml Yuzu and 10ml Almonds (makes two drinks)

Aperitivo Time:

You’ve put together the ultimate cheese, charcuterie and bread platter – now’s the time to do the same for what you’ll be using for your G&T’s or better still, your Negroni!

20ml Orange Peel, 45ml Juniper, 20ml Rosemary, 10ml Cassia (makes two drinks)

Super Juniper Gin:

A pre dinner Martini is a glorious thing, so too is a ridiculously juniper forward gin and when the two collide – it’s sensational. To make juniper shine though, you can help its green and verdant core by bolstering around it, as opposed to just using it as the sole botanical. The likes of other herbs can help here and it’s easy to get everything geared to introducing the juniper, lifting and supporting it on the finish.

10ml Lemon, 50ml Juniper, 15ml Coriander seed, 10ml Rosemary, 10ml Caraway (makes two drinks)

Mediterranean:

A bit of a provençal mix, a sense of the warming earthy breeze sweeping through and a touch of the sea in the air – the Mediterranean has an allure that’s hard not to be drawn by when you want a moment of escapism.

20ml Lavender, 25ml Lemon Thyme, 15ml Rosemary, 10ml Basil, 50ml Juniper, 20ml Wildflower honey, 10ml Cassia (makes a 150ml bottle)

Tapas & COPA’s:

Suns out gins out…. it’s easy quaffing G&T time, picnic underway. Something approachable and that doesn’t have too much citrus so that it can be elevated by garnishing…

10ml Grapefruit, 25ml Raspberries, 15ml Cranberries, 60ml Juniper, 15ml Liquorice root, 15ml Cloves and 10ml Cubeb (makes a 150ml bottle)

Mumbai Moment:

It’s curry night, the G&T is bottomless and the pile of naan is staked sky high. We love having a crisp gin and tonic with a big lemon wedge to accompany Indian cuisine, but sometimes the strong flavours of the food can mean that the gin gets drowned out. You need a punchy gin with both an upfront twist and a lasting depth.

Try blending these for size: 60ml Juniper, 15ml Yuzu, 5ml Orange, 20ml Coriander Seed, 15ml Cardamom, 10ml Cassia, 15ml Earl Grey Tea (makes a 150ml bottle)

Find out more about the Distillate library on how to get your on Gin Kiosk.

Blend Your Own Gin, BYO Gin, Gin making kit