375 ml 80-proof vodka
.25 cup juniper berries
1 cardamom pod, crushed
.25 tsp peppercorns
Peel of one lemon
2 one-pint mason jars
When it comes to making anything for the first time, it’s best to start with the basics—your first foray into baking wouldn’t be a triple-layer cream cake, would it?
This recipe is a juniper-forward infusion, meant to evoke London Dry brands like Beefeater and No. 3. Clean and classic, it can be used in anything from Gimlets to Martinis. The formula can also be easily adapted to include a wider variety of flavors like coriander, dried herbs and fennel seed, depending on your preference. We chose to include peppercorns for a bit of spice, lemon peel for a nice citrus edge and just a touch of cardamom (any more overpowers the juniper) for some complexity. Once you have all of your ingredients measured out, the most difficult part of the process is waiting.
Step 1: Prepare the first mason jar by washing it in soapy water, rinsing and drying it thoroughly (no one wants leftover soapy aromatics worming their way into the infusion). Pour the vodka into the clean jar, followed by all of the remaining ingredients. Screw the lid on tight. Then, shake it up to make sure every last berry and peppercorn are saturated. Let the infusion sit in a cool, dark area for three full days, shaking the jar each day.