'DIY' on Serious Eats

We Try The HomeMade Gin Kit

For many, the phrase "homemade gin" may conjure up images of bathtub distilleries during Prohibition, and rotgut stuff not really fit for human consumption. Sarah Maiellano and her husband Joe see it differently. They're the folks behind The HomeMade Gin Kit, a package that transforms your self-supplied vodka into gin. It's a lot safer than actually distilling at home, and legal, too. More

Water Kefir from 'Mastering Fermentation'

Milk kefir is a pretty common sight in the dairy aisle these days—or at least it is in California. Much more mysterious is its lactose-free cousin, water kefir. Both drinks are fermented with similar SCOBYs (symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast), but milk kefir grains feed on the natural sugars in the milk while water kefir needs additional sugar or fruit juice to get going. Mary Karlin provides recipes for both in her new cookbook, Mastering Fermentatio. Today, we're trying our hand at the water-based version. More

Water Kefir from 'Mastering Fermentation'

Milk kefir is a pretty common sight in the dairy aisle these days—or at least it is in California. Much more mysterious is its lactose-free cousin, water kefir. Both drinks are fermented with similar SCOBYs (symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast), but milk kefir grains feed on the natural sugars in the milk while water kefir needs additional sugar or fruit juice to get going. Mary Karlin provides recipes for both in her new cookbook, Mastering Fermentatio. Today, we're trying our hand at the water-based version. More

Cook the Book: 'Mastering Fermentation'

Mastering Fermentation, the new book from cheese maker and cooking teacher Mary Karlin, is a thorough (and gorgeous) collection of actual recipes for just about any ferment you might want to make at home. Beer, salami, yogurt, cheese, and, yes, vinegar are all there, along with recipes for several Asian ferments, like soy sauce, ponzu, and bran-fermented pickles, that are relative rarities in American cookbooks. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Your Own Orange Soda

Most orange soda has more in common with orange the color than the fruit, but that doesn't stop me from craving it. The reason I drink soda isn't because I think it's full of vitamins and minerals. I drink it because it tastes good. My idea of the perfect orange soda is the fast-food fountain Orange Crush and Sunkist that I grew up with, even though as an adult I know it's just a bunch of corn syrup and artificial flavoring. Luckily, DIY orange soda delivers the same satisfying combination of sweet and tart you get from the commercial version without the questionable ingredients. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Your Own Root Beer Liqueur

I like to think of root beer as the gateway beverage into the big, bad world of booze. Even though it's a big leap from A&W to Fernet Branca, there's definitely a connection between what makes a good root beer and what makes a good alcoholic beverage. This homemade root beer liqueur has more in common with an aperitif than it does with a soda, because the sugar is dialed back and the root-and-bark goodness can shine through. More

DIY vs. Buy: How to Make Grape Soda

Most grape-flavored things don't taste like grape at all—they taste like purple. Commercial grape soda walks the line between the taste of real grapes and sugary artificial flavor. Grape soda should be the non-alcoholic, fizzy sister to wine, but instead it seems to be the least appreciated of the sodas. I've had a soft spot for this deep purple, bubbly beverage since childhood, so I was inspired to make a DIY version that has a more natural flavor. More

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