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BYO: Green fingered Gin Makers

BYO Gin, Blend Your Own
Blend Your Own Gin Herbal
BYO Gin, Blend Your Own
Blend Your Own Gin spiced
Written by Gin Foundry

To help others with some inspiration and start points, we’re delving into a few examples of how you can look at a blending your own gin and the type of ideas that have inspired recipes for us as makers when combining various distillates.

We hope it will help to showcase how BYO distillates can be used to make amazing drinks that are about both great flavour and creatively fulfilling concepts – and for those not mixing BYO distillates, hopefully it’ll share some insight into how any gin maker might look at the wider concept of building a recipe.

PART 2– Gardening OR Gin making?

Gardens, as do most things, go through distinct stages life. From the morbidly bleak mid winter, to the intoxicatingly vivid smells of summer – they shift, change and evolve. As such, they can be a great source of inspiration when it comes to how to approach making your own BYO Gin recipe, as even revisiting the same location at different times of year can result in hugely different outcomes.

What makes them a good as a source of inspiration is not just the fact that so many of the herbs and flowers are actual ingredients that you can play with in distillate form (and thus reflect something literally), nor that they will change over the course of a year either.

It is because there are also many synergies between the act of gardening and creating a gin recipe. There are themes that run through people’s choices of plants, and ideas that can be (loosely) translated into being the equivalent of “a vision”.

With both blending a gin recipe as well as gardening there are two things to contend with – you’ve got to tackle making something work in reality as well as conceptually. You have to balance the specific flavours with the wider theme and artistic direction. You have to pay attention to the nuanced details alongside the overall impact, once considered as a whole.

If you are anything like us, incidentally, that “vision” of a garden in bloom might be wildly different than the current muddy pit of despair that confronts us with every glance out of the window, but hopefully, you catch our drift as to the two pass times have many parallels.

More importantly, we’re not saying that Alan Titchmarsh is a master blender in waiting, nor is a general incompetence to keep a plant alive a sign of a person not that will not able to create a gin recipe. We are adept at one, and hopeless at the other ourselves.

To attempt to blend your own version of a Garden Gin, look for the likes of basil, rosemary, lemon thyme and juniper to build up the herbal core. Other floral distillates will give it a district tone too, and chamomile and elderflower can be powerfully evocative of summer blooms, while the likes of grapefruit can add a little zing, without overwhelming the more delicate flowers like rose, lavender and wildflower honey.

It’s important not to neglect the likes of coriander seed, cubeb of cassia though, as it will be they who provide a depth to the gin and are vital to add as an anchor point off which the brighter flavours bounce up from.

Specifics aside, from a wider conceptual link and a way of helping keep a metric off which to judge the wider success of your blend as an interpretation of a garden, have a think about what sentiment you are trying to invoke. Is it a leafy garden? Is it a manicured and heavily pruned floral masterclass? Does it have a theme (Provençal / Japanese / Alpine)?

Our example recipe contains 5 + Juniper so that it can be done with the Enthusiast BYO bundle and is very much themed after a the type of gardens and hedgerows you’d find in Provence.

Lastly – gardens give a very good place to go and drink the end outcome too, so ours set out with a singular moment in time in which it was going to be consumed… a picnic time G&T.

BYO Garden Gin: Lavender, underpinned by the perfumed violet note that’s unique to cubeb are clear on the nose. There’s herbal depth, sure, but mainly the floral softness that shines. To taste, apricot only teases as a flavour up front, but its soft fruity tones combine with the floral lavender and help tease the fore into a rounded gin that develops into a booming verdant centre. Rosemary, backed by basil and juniper take charge from there on in, as if you’ve just sat down on the grass and been overwhelmed by the green that surrounds you.

We love adding a slice of stone fruit in our G&T, be it a peach, more apricot or a nectarine as the garnish, especially when combined with lemon thyme. The result is glorious on a warm evening!

BYO Distillates Used:

Juniper, Rosemary and Lavender, Apricot and Basil and Cubeb

Find out more about the distillate library and how to get yours on Gin Kiosk.