Have you ever made your own gin? It’s so much fun, and so easy! This winter gin is infused with fresh foraged juniper berries, white fir, and lots of winter herbs and spices. It’s refreshing and aromatic, and a perfect winter foraging cocktail recipe. This homemade infused gin is the perfect recipe for the holidays to indulge in yourself or give as a gift.
Homemade Infused Gin
Winter is here, and that means fancy cocktails for many of us!
I am usually a wine or mead drinker, but I am a sucker for a gin martini (or a pomegranate martini) on special occasions. I know, gin seems like an old man drink, but sometimes I feel like an old man!
Seriously, though, my grandpa was a gin drinker, and he used to let me stick my finger in his drink and taste it when I was a wee one. Probably not the best thing in the world to let a 5 year old do, but it did give me a taste for gin once I became old enough to actually partake in an adult beverage.
Then I discovered that gin was traditionally made by infusing juniper berries and other botanicals into a neutral spirit.
Foraged botanicals and liquor infusions – of course I was smitten! Totally my kind of jam.
Winter Infused Gin Recipe
What’s great about this recipe is how incredibly easy it is. You basically just steep a bunch of herbs and spices in a neutral spirit, such as vodka, for a few days and there it is.
Now here is where I tell you what I did a little differently (as I often do).
I only used 1 tsp coriander seeds and added 1 tsp anise seeds, because I read that they are often used in gin making and that sounded tasty to me.
I actually didn’t think that I had any coriander seeds, until I got smart and raided my gardening seed packets. Coriander is cilantro seed, and I had some on hand!
I also used a fresh (not dried) sage leaf from my garden, and was happy to find that the plant was alive and well under all the snow.
Since there is no white fir in my immediate vicinity, I used Douglas-fir instead. I debated between that and blue spruce, as I bet that would be nice as well.
Any edible conifer sprig will work instead of white fir, such as pine, spruce, or Douglas-fir.
Do not use Yew as it is toxic.
Soak the Juniper Berries
This recipe starts with you soaking the juniper berries in vodka (or another neutral tasting spirit) in a quart sized mason jar for the first 12 hours or overnight.
Juniper berries are what will give it that classic gin flavor.
Infuse the Gin Botanicals
After the 12 hour juniper berry pre-soak, add the rest of the herbs, spices, and the conifer sprig to the vodka.
It sure is pretty once you have everything added!
All of these lovely botanicals will make a tasty and herbaceous brew.
Cover and let it sit for 36 more hours. It will become a yellowish color after the infusion. That’s all the herbal goodness in your booze!
Strain & Enjoy
Strain your lovely winter infused gin into another jar with a fine mesh sieve.
Then pour a little into a glass. A wonderfully tasty and festive brew!
Feel free to ice it down with some snow if you don’t have any ice cubes in your freezer, like me. Totally unprepared!
Cheers to that! And cheers to Emily Han for making such a wonderful recipe.
I’ve also made her rose hip whiskey smash, which turned out just as fabulous.
I highly recommend her book, Wild Drinks and Cocktails. I want to make every single recipe in it, they all sound so good!
Hope you have a wonderful winter and happy holidays!
Herbal Infused Drinks & Cocktails
Dress up your drink with these beautiful herbal infusions!
- Conifer Infused Vodka
- Rosemary Champagne Cocktail with Blood Orange
- Persimmon Champagne Cocktail with Sage
- Pomegranate Martini with Rosemary
- Reishi Mushroom Infused Wine
Homemade Infused Gin
- 2 Tbsp juniper berries fresh or dried
- 750 ml vodka or other neutral spirit
- 2 tsp coriander seeds or use anise seeds for all or part
- 1 tsp dried orange peel or fresh orange zest
- 3" sprig fresh white fir or another edible conifer sprig
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 whole allspice berry
- 1 sage leaf fresh or dried
- 1/2 dried California bay leaf or 1 dried Turkish bay leaf
- Put the juniper berries in a quart jar and pour the vodka in the jar. Cap the jar tightly and let it infuse for 12 hours or overnight.
- After the 12 hour pre-soak, add the rest of the herbs and spices to the vodka.
- Cap the jar again and let it sit to infuse for 36 more hours.
- Strain the infused gin into another jar with a fine mesh sieve.
- Store in a bottle or jar in a cool and dark place for up to one year.
- Any edible conifer sprig will work instead of the white fir, such as pine, spruce, or Douglas-fir. Do not use Yew as it is toxic.
- After the infusion is finished the color of the infused gin will turn a pale yellow color.
- Serve the infused gin ice cold for the best flavor experience.