Making your own booze can be a nightmare of misunderstood directions, expensive equipment, and accidentally blowing your house up. Lucky for you, a DC company has launched the Homemade Gin Kit, a quick, fairly foolproof way to transform your vodka into gin in a matter of 36 hours without even requiring a bathtub, though you are fully encouraged to drink the finished product in the bath.
But is it really that easy... or very good? To find out, we made a batch and put it up against other gins from the bottom and top shelf. Then we took a long, hot bath... mainly because we spilled gin everywhere.
Making this hooch is really easy, since you're not distilling. All you do is score a fifth of mid-grade vodka (which isn't included), then dump the included juniper berries in the bottle using the funnel in the box. After 24hrs, you dump in a jar of botanicals that includes coriander, rosemary, rose hips and other spices that are kind of boring so will now be referred to as Gin Tang.
Once you add those in, shake it up and put it in a dark place -- not the one you go to when you hear Nickelback -- for another 12hrs.
After 36hrs, use the strainer and funnel to strain the gin into the included bottles, which will sit on your liquor shelf looking less like gin and more like something you might find in a circle around Howard Hughes. That's because most gin is filtered. So, since you don't have a full still setup, you're stuck drinking what looks like pee. But how does it taste?
In order to give the Homemade Gin a fair shake, we lined up glasses of it, Bombay Sapphire, and Monarch, then did a completely blind taste-test. The results, worst to best, with tasting notes:
3. Monarch: "This is terrible. It's completely overpowering, and tastes like pine cones and rubbing alcohol and, for some reason, black licorice."
2. Bombay: "This is extremely mellow, but there's a lot of aftertaste."
1. Homemade Gin: "This has an extremely strong scent, but it's got a very clean taste... it's not intense at all. It's actually delicious."
Upon removing the blindfold, the tester thought he was forced to drink alcoholic urine. Gladly, he did not, and opted for a yellow martini.
Final analysis: The gin kit works.