Homemade Gin Kits

Ultimate Homemade Gin Kit

The Lowdown

  • The kit is an artisan styled gin making kit
  • Must try for those looking to make their own home blend of signature gin
  • Easy to process. Total time taken was just 36 hours
  • Effortless way to create a customised made-to-taste concoction

Homemade Gin Kit by W&P Design

Homemade Gin Kit by W&P Design

Developed by two Philly natives, Joe and Sarah Maiellano, the Homemade Gin Kit is all about using a simple bottle of vodka to create a delicious bottle of homemade gin.

The origin of gin is traced back to the Italian monks in northern Italy that were already producing herb based liquor for medicinal purposes. Juniper berries (which are edible and nutritious, but not necessarily delicious) are the main essence behind the flavour of the gin.

Undoubtedly a classic drink, many gin lovers also do enjoy a flavoured mix as a nice twist to this age old drink. For weeks now, we have been curious about this Homemade Gin Kit by W&P Design and we finally got our hands on it.  

We did hear plenty of good things about it in the past and rightly so. It’s a pretty cool concept, if we must say so ourselves, and makes for an excellent gift for any avid home brewer.

Even for those that are not aware of brewing in depth, this kit offers the perfect starter hardware. Not only is it fun to use, it puts you in control of your very own brew. Simply choose a vodka (yes, vodka… no gin starts out as gin per se) of your choice, add the botanicals available in the kit, steep it for the recommended duration and the mixture is ready to be filtered and bottled.  

Read on for an in depth review of the Homemade Gin Kit and how you can go about brewing your own custom concoction.

Developed by two Philly natives, Joe and Sarah Maiellano, the Homemade Gin Kit is all about using a simple bottle of vodka to create a delicious bottle of homemade gin.

Many would argue that it would be simpler to just go to the store and buy a bottle of gin instead. However, if you are looking to add a touch of flavour that is exclusively your own, this Homemade Gin Kit is certainly worth a try.

Moreover, there isn’t much heavy duty lifting that goes into the process. There are no special tools needed or the need for any brewing. The process is as simple as mixing and infusing different botanicals and tastes until you find one you like.

We found the concept itself to be really cool and can assure you that once you un-box the kit, your curiosity will be piqued and you will be eager to give it a try.

As you may be aware, gin is basically an extended version of vodka, which is differentiated based on the types of botanicals added to it. Keeping that in mind, having your own set of botanicals added to the mix will create a favour exclusive to your palate.

In addition to the standard kit, the manufacturer also includes two refill tins — one being the Original Blend and the other called the Smoky Blend. These are packaged along with Juniper Berries for a truly individual botanical blend.

What’s in the homemade gin kit?

Surely what makes this kit interesting, especially if you are an avid gin lover is the variety of flavour combinations that can be created depending on your mood and palate – a huge draw for anyone that loves custom flavoured alcohol.

It comes with easy to follow instructions and all that you need to get going—except for the hooch itself of course. If you are in possession of just one kit though, we would advise a test batch of smaller proportions. In this manner, you will not end up ruining the entire in case you do not manage to properly run the first batch in accordance with the instructions.

The material/ingredients available in the kit can easily transform a 750 ml bottle of generic vodka into two bottles of unique and delicious gin. Magic, yes? Also imagine being able to turn a 4 dollar bottle of vodka into a tasty custom blend of gin that tastes like it cost at least 50 dollars, if not more.

On unboxing the kit, you will notice a large as well as a small sized flip cap bottle, a couple of wire mesh strainers, a stainless steel funnel, juniper berries packed in a tin. These are the bare essentials you will need.

In addition to this, there is also a tin comprising of a secret blend of botanicals including flavours such as lavender, coriander, rosemary, lemon peel, fennel, cardamom pods, bay leaves, Tellicherry black pepper and all spice.

How the homemade gin kit works?

  • The process is fairly simple and involves simply steeping the juniper in the vodka for a day or more, after which the botanicals are added and after waiting for an additional day the mixture is filtered, bottled and ready to be sipped.
  • The instructions recommend not worrying too much on the type of vodka being used for the mix. A middle grade vodka should work well (Your finished product won’t be as tasty if you use crappy alcohol now would it?) as it is something that you will not have a problem mixing with the botanicals provided. We taste tested a Kansas made vodka and a good old bottle of Smirnoff. Both passed with flying colours. If you have to choose one though, just pick a nice smooth vodka that is an everyday common brand.
  • We first began by pouring the vodka through the funnel along with the juniper berries (If you want a stronger juniper flavor, crush the berries before adding them to the vodka). Shake the bottle really well and leave to steep in a cool, dark place for twenty-four hours.
  • The next day, open the juniper infused vodka and using the funnel, pour the aromatics into the bottle and give it a thorough shake before putting it back on the shelf.
  • Wait for another 12 hours before shaking the bottle vigorously again.
  • Then open the empty bottle that comes along with the kit and place the funnel in the mouth. Take the strainer provided and place this in the funnel. Pour the mixture through the strainer and the funnel into the empty bottle and your fresh homemade gin is ready to go.
  • That’s it. In just thirty-six hours, and with little to no effort at all, you will have your very own concoction of gin ready to be sipped.

Botanical mix

When it comes to the proportions of botanicals to be used there isn’t a pre-determined quantity listed. We took a stab by using the following combination.  

  • 1/3 ounce of juniper berries
  • ¼ heaping table spoon each of coriander, rosemary,  lavender flowers
  • 2 pieces each of rose hips, all spice berries and tellicherry black peppercorns
  • 1/8 tablespoon each of fennel seeds, pulverized dried lemon peel (if you prefer your drinks to be citrusy, you may even add some lime and fresh lemon peel to the mix)
  • 1 bay leafy
  • And lastly 3 green cardamom pods.  

You can also try out your own combinations of botanicals in case there is particular flavour you fancy more as it isn’t mandatory to use all the botanicals in the proportions we tried.

The infusions can additionally be bought in bulk as well in case you are looking for a particular mix for a 750 ml bottle. In case the bottle being used needs to be cleaned avoid the use of soap and use Oxiclean and rinse at least two to three times to wash out any reside left behind which could interfere with the taste of the final product.

The finished product will appear as an unclear mixture different from what you will expect when compared to an off the shelf product simply because the gin that you get off the shelf isn’t made using a process like this.

Finished products go through another round of distillation leaving behind all the botanicals steeping in the spirit to form a crystal clear liquid.

However, what you can do to gain a finished product with better clarity is to try layering a cheesecloth in the strainer before sending it through the funnel.

The change in color from transparent to a translucent yellow is what is called as a “compound gin” which essentially means the gin hasn’t been distilled after the flavourings have been added. The color darkens even further upon using the ‘Smoky Blend’ refill that adds Lapsang tea infusing a punchy smoke flavour.

If you end up with yellowish colored alcohol please don’t freak out as this is exactly how it turns out to be after the infusion process is completed. The flavor is also different than any other gin you may have tasted—it has a somewhat floral botanical flavor that pairs perfectly with tonic. It is also delicious enough to drink on the rocks, if you so desire.

We quite liked how the smoked flavour turned out to be although the regular styles were great as well.

Tips and tricks

The kit makes for a great gift for those pursuing the hobby of brewing or if someone fancies themselves as mixologists. It has plenty of novelty value and makes for an interesting experiment.

There is plenty going on in the tin of botanicals and it may take you a while to get a fair idea of what everything in there is.  The juniper infusion itself makes the vodka smell like gin after 24 hours and the botanicals are just a nice addition to the gin’s original flavour.

Some people have written reviews saying they didn’t like the flavours, although that’s a purely personal opinion. We’ve made several gin and tonics and martinis so far and it’s safe to say that we’ve been pretty pleased.  If you find the flavor to be too potent, however, simply dilute your custom gin with “regular” gin — about 1:1 – and this will be a big hit, too

A quick tip– some of the botanicals such as the rose hips and the bay leaves need to be crushed before inserting in the funnel or else it will clog the funnel of cause the alcohol to spill.

On the other hand, a few of the botanical bits are really small which is why we recommend using a couple layers of cheesecloth as an added lining to the strainer to prevent any small bits from seeping through.  

Overall, we found the experience to be fun and also curious during the preparation stage as you won’t be sure of what to expect especially if you are mixing for the very first time.

Gin cocktails

Gin is known to have produced some of the most classic cocktails mainly due to its complexity and beautiful flavours.

On the request of many consumers asking for recipes that go best with the kit, the manufacturer has recommended four cocktails namely The aviation, The gin martini, The negroni and The southside.  All of these have a gin base and are very easy to put together.

A gin and tonic is a classic way to get started, if you are just about trying the spirit.  

Another famous gin cocktail is called as the Negroni which is easy to make. Equal parts gin coupled with campari and equal measure of sweet vermouth served with ice. The color is mesmerizing and so is the taste.  

Another classic is a fruit flavoured gin called the bramble. The cocktail uses fresh seasonal fruit. We made one with strawberries mixed with a bunch of wild blue berries, which is then mixed with Chambord.

Another all time favourite — James Bond’s classic gin martini: A mixture of gin along with a splash of vermouth (stirred, not shaken) served in a chilled glass.