12.19.2015

Gin, Hold the Rummy

Nothing says summer like a gin and tonic. And Markipedia LOVES his gin and tonics. And, since today is his birthday, this post is for him!

The good thing about living in the desert is that nothing stops you from feeling summery all year round.

Personally, I am not a huge gin fan. I don't do martinis, and I only drink a gin and tonic for the tonic and lime. (The limes on our tree ripen in autumn and early winter.)

Markipedia mentioned that, with all the herbs in our garden, it would be a breeze to make homemade gin.

Something about that appealed to me. If the herbs were really pronounced, I might actually enjoy it.

We have a an empty bottle of Botanist Islay Dry Gin gin given to us by cousins Cathy and Heather back East. We use a variety of empty - but, more important, beautiful - bottles for water at the dinner table.

Because of its design, the Botanist bottle is a favorite. It is embossed with the names of all the herbs in their brand of gin. Basically, a starter recipe in binomial botanical Latin!

We adapted the list of ingredients, and amended it - with our culinary sensibilities and ingredients from our garden - to create this recipe for homemade gin.

Don't expect Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. But do expect to enjoy this wonderful herbal elixir. Because this is not a distilled gin, it will come out a light amber color; it does not affect the taste.

Cheers!

~ David


Homemade Herb-infused Gin

2 cups vodka
2 tablespoons juniper berries
1 teaspoon chamomile
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
½ teaspoon culinary lavender buds
3 cardamom pods, broken
3 fresh bay leaves, bruised
4 spearmint leaves, bruised
3 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs marjoram
two 4-inch strips of grapefruit zest
1 sprig tender myrtle leaves, bruised

Combine the vodka and juniper berries (half the juniper berries can be crushed in a mortar and pestle for greater juniper flavor) in a sealable glass jar and steep for 12 hours.

Add chamomile, coriander, lavender, cardamom, bay leaves, spearmint, thyme, marjoram, grapefruit zest, and myrtle. Seal jar and shake, then let steep for an additional 5 days

Strain out solids through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, then strain through a coffee filter again into final bottle.

Store at room temperature for up to one year. (As if it would last that long...)

Makes 2 cups
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If you ever hear Markipedia call gin “mother’s milk,” he is referring to Eliza Doolittle’s faltering maiden voyage at the Ascot Races in the play My Fair Lady, excerpted here:

Eliza Doolittle (with perfect diction and dubious judgment):
My Aunt died of influenza, or so they said. But its my belief they done the old woman in. Yes, Lord love you. Why should she die of influenza, when she come through diphtheria right enough the year before. Fairly blue with it she was. They all thought she was dead. But my father, he kept ladling gin down her throat. Then she come to so sudden she bit the bowl right off the spoon. Now what call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza?

Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, shocked:
But it can't have been right for your father to be pouring spirits down her throat like that, it could have killed her.

Eliza Doolittle:

Not her, gin was mother's milk to her. Besides he poured so much down his own throat, he knew the good of it.



34 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, David! Have brought this to the attention of a dear friend who is a gin-fancier... wishing you both a joyful Christmas and a brilliant 2016 XXX

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    1. Thanks, Liz - to you and Peter, as well. I hope your friend enjoys the post. As an aficionado, s/he may not like the fact that this isn't distilled!

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  2. Dear David, beuatiful post which reminds me a little of my grand-mother who used to infuse her rum with berries from her garden until it turned a deep burgundy color - please wish Mark a very Happy Birthday from all of us!
    Andrea & Co.

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    1. Infused rum sounds wonderful Andrea! I will convey your greetings to Mark!

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  3. That's amazing, and I love that bottle!!!

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    1. Thanks, Mimi! Collect lots of unusual bottles just for things like this.

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  4. This sounds really intriguing. I like the idea of herbal infused gin! Thank you for an inspiring post. I look forward to giving this a try over the holidays. Best to you and Mark!

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    1. Kirsten - it is really quite flavorful, and I hope you do get to try it! Looking forward to seeing you in February!

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  5. I like gin. It' my preferred spirit (well preferred light spirit) but I've never attempted to make my own. I've certainly infused lots of spirits so I understand the process. I'll give your recipe a shot! GREG

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    1. Thanks, Greg. And, as you can only imagine, the better and smoother your vodka, the better the gin will be.

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  6. Lovely photos...Happy Birthday to Mark!

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    1. Thanks, Jean! Mark saw your message before I did! :)

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  7. Something tells me I'd quite like sipping on a G&T made with this herbal concoction, somehow. I infused some gin with a little native rosemary a couple of years ago and it still sits in the cupboard unused. Probably because it infused for too long and it's way too herbal. I've just never got around to diluting it. It's the colour of dark tea!

    A big Happy Birthday to Mark, as well!

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    1. Thanks, John - we had fun celebrating his day.

      Yeah, I think over-herbing things can be dangerous. Once we thought, "If a little sage is good..." Well, we soon found out that too much of any good thing can be bitter and awful. This was definitely a fun project.

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  8. Love that quote from My Fair Lady as much as I love the sound of the gin.

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  9. What a wonderful post, charming and inspiring.
    If it taste only half as good as it looks in these beautiful pics, it's a win win.
    Happy belated birthday to Mark and a Merry Christmas and joyful new year to both of you!



    Happy belated Birthday to Mark!

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    1. Thanks, Daniela - we wish you the same! (I even tried to do it auf Deutsch on your post - hope it wasn't too embarrassingly bad...)

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  10. Lovely photos! I am not a gin drinker either, but I have a lot of juniper bushes and wonder about using the berries often! Coincidentally one of my daughters and I just saw a holiday production of My Fair Lady! Best wishes to both of you for a wonderful holiday season!

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    1. Oh, I would love to have a juniper that had berries! You are quite fortunate, Inger!

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  11. I'm not a drinker as you know, but I can appreciate beauty and this is beautiful. The herbs and spices make it sound even more delightful. Also that bottle is gorgeous!
    Happy belated birthday to Mark, I hope he had a wonderful one.
    Wishing you and Mark a wonderful holiday season; Happy Christmas! Thank you for your constant support, love and encouragement, but especially your friendship.
    Nazneen xx

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    1. Thanks, Nazneen - it means all the more that you comment when you aren't a drinker! :) I will send your birthday greetings to Mark - it is fun to make it special for him at this time of year when everything is about Christmas!

      I, too, am so grateful for our friendship - and I just know that this will be the year that we meet! xox

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  12. Such a handsome looking bottle of gin. I love the colour. Your posts (photos and words) never stop to amaze and inspire me. Have a jolly good Christmas you two. :)

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    1. Thanks, Padaek! You are so kind... We will have a happy Christmas, and maybe someday we will be celebrating it Down Under, and we can raise a glass together!

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  13. A belated birthday wish to Mark. I've never cared for gin but I'm sure your homemade elixir was much appreciated by Mark.

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    1. The homemade gin was quite tasty, Karen, and Mark loved it! Another batch is in the works!

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  14. Happy belayed birthday to Mark!!
    It feels like summer in Arizona now? Well, thanks to climate change (and I'm not saying this in a good way) it feels like spring here in the Netherlands too.
    I'm not a huge fan of gin but I like Jenever, the original gin made by the Dutch. What I absolutely love is that bottle on that first photo. It's beautiful David!
    Hope you have wonderful holidays with lots of good food and friends. Happy Christmas!!

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    1. Magda - we like Jenever, too. And I actually like this herby concoction a lot. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too, and we wish you all the best for 2016!

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  15. The idea of herbs infused in gin is lovely! I guess I feel a bit like you about gin…but the tonic and lemon is wonderful! Your photos are gorgeous!
    Thank you for stopping by and for your very kind words. I am glad to be finally getting back to normal! Happy New Year to you and Mark!!

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    1. I am just so relieved to know you are doing okay. What a great way to start 2016!

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  16. Truly lovely post. It could tempt me to drink gin if I had a hand-crafted bottle like this one! As many times as I have watched My Fair Lady, I don't think I caught this reference to gin! How did you like it? will you be drinking G & Ts when the sun comes back?

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    1. Mark is still drinking G&Ts - sunshine or not! We just put up another large bottle of gin. It should keep him happy for a while. I love it - incredibly herbal! And the big bottle is quite pretty, too!

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