Gin is fast becoming a favourite drink of mine. I’ve always enjoyed a good gin and tonic, but this drink has recently become a lot more popular. Which means that there are a lot more varieties of craft gin available. And everyone’s experimenting with flavours.
Gin and tonic, as it comes, is simply divine. But there are so many flavours that can be added to make it even more yummy. Think lime, thyme, rosemary, rose water, citrus peels or spices – not all together, but you can mix and match to make a gin that’s perfect for you.
The idea of gin and berries sounded simply amazing to me, so I tried a few of my favourites. Blueberry and allspice for one, and pomegranates for the other.
You don’t need to use a lot of gin and you can go with any type, although for this I would avoid gins that already have a lot of flavours and aromas. Try a small amount in a glass jar while you’re experimenting with flavours – you can always do more when you decide on the best combination.
Add about 200ml of gin to your jar. For the blueberry and allspice gin, add a handful of blueberries, half a tablespoon of juniper berries and half a tablespoon of allspice. For the pomegranate flavour (my personal favourite) add a few tablespoons of pomegranate seeds, along with any juice that has come out, and a teaspoon of juniper berries.
You don’t really need the juniper berries, as gin will have this in already. But they do add a lovely aroma and they make the gin flavour pop.
Seal your jars and leave to stand for a few days. Give the jar a swirl a few times a day, just to get the flavours mixing together. After a few days, have a taste. If you’re happy with the flavours, strain the gin through a muslin cloth and return to the glass jar or put in a bottle.
For a stronger flavour, leave your berries and spices in the gin for another day or two, until you like what you taste. The pomegranate gives you a lovely sweet gin, with just a hint of pink colouring when mixed with tonic. Surprisingly, the blueberries make an even pinker drink, but one that is not as sweet, and has instead a bit more of a spicy flavour.
You can pop this into a pretty glass bottle, add a ‘homemade’ tag and give it as a gift. Or if you’re planning an afternoon tea or sundowners, serve this with slices of lemon.