How to make Bathtub Gin
Bathtub Gin - what is it and how do you make it at home?
Bathtub gin is a simple way to mix up a delightful, homemade gin. No, you won’t need a rubber ducky, just some neutral spirit and some basic ingredients and equipment.
First things first.
What is Bathtub Gin?
Bathtub gin has a fascinating history that dates back to the days of Prohibition in the United States. When alcohol was banned, creative folks turned to clandestine methods of producing their beloved spirits.
Bathtub gin got its name because it was often made in small batches in people's homes, sometimes, yes, even in actual bathtubs! These homemade gins were usually pretty rough around the edges, but they got the job done and added a dash of excitement during those dry times.
Today, we can recreate that DIY spirit (pun intended) by making our very own bathtub gin. Here's how to do it!
- 750 ml of neutral spirit - that you’d made at home with your Airstill or a bottle of store bought vodka
- Botanicals - these are what give Gin its flavour. To be a gin, it has to have Juniper berries. A pack of Still Spirits Gin Botanicals is perfect.
- A large glass jar or container
- Cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer
- Bottles for your finished gin
- Labels (for that personal touch)
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
Grab yourself some botanicals - juniper berries (the backbone of any gin), coriander seed is also key. Then you can mix it up taste - floral, citrus, earthy or peppery. The beauty of bathtub gin is that there are no strict rules – feel free to experiment and let your taste buds be your guide.
To keep it simple, grab a premix Gin botanical kit. Still Spirits Gin Botanicals come in 3 styles - London Dry, Mint Leaf or Rosemary. Botanical Boy Gin Kits have flavours like Fine Floral, Citrus Smash and Native Twist.
Make or buy your neutral spirit.
Step 2: Mix and Mingle
In your glass jar, pour in the 750 ml of neutral grain spirit. Crush the juniper berries a bit to release their aromatic oils and add them to the mix. Then, toss in your other botanicals.
As a rule of thumb, aim for about 10-20 grams of botanicals per 750 ml of spirit, but feel free to adjust to your taste.
Pop on the lid, give it a good shake, and then let the concoction rest in a cool, dark place.
Step 3: Wait Patiently
Now the hard part – waiting. Your gin needs some alone time to mingle with the botanicals. Check on it every day or two and give the jar a gentle shake.
After about a week, start tasting it. Once you've achieved the flavour profile you desire, it's time to move on.
Step 4: Filter and Bottle
Grab your cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer and filter out the botanicals. This is the moment your gin transforms from a murky mixture into something that closely resembles the crystal-clear gin you're used to.
Use a funnel to transfer the filtered liquid into your chosen bottles. Label them with your own imaginative gin brand name.
Step 5: Sip and Savour
Congratulations, you've successfully brewed your own gin!
Now it's time to sample the fruits of your labour. Mix up your favourite gin cocktails or simply enjoy it with tonic.