[Photograph: Marcia Simmons]

When it comes down to it, gin is basically a neutral spirit flavored with juniper berries and a bunch of other stuff. So while it might seem like putting a bunch of berries and herbs in vodka couldn't possibly result in a drinkable gin, you definitely can make a gin just as complex and delicious as what you'll find at the liquor store.

Note: Choose the most neutral inexpensive vodka you can find.


About This Recipe

Yield:Makes about 2 cups
Active time:5 minutes
Total time:2 days
Special equipment:cheesecloth, fine mesh strainer
This recipe appears in: DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Gin At Home


  • 2 cups vodka
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chamomile
  • 1/2 teaspoon lavender
  • 3 cardamom pods, broken
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 allspice berries
  • two 4-inch pieces of grapefruit peel, with no pith


  1. 1

    Combine the vodka and juniper berries in a sealable glass jar and steep for 12 hours.

  2. 2

    Add coriander, chamomile, lavender, cardamom, bay leaf, allspice, and grapefruit peel. Seal jar and shake, then let steep for an additional 36 hours.

  3. 3

    Strain out solids through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, then strain through cheese cloth again into desired bottle. Store at room temperature for up to one year.


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