Season’s Greetings!! Welcome to my very 1st Twelve Days of Christmas, a Holiday Countdown for the Gourmand! Matt and I have been talking about this for a few months! I spent a lot of time trying to wrap my head around what I would want to do, what kind of an experience it would create, and how the heck to pull it off in time to share with friends & family! I don’t know if this will evolve into something that I could offer to the public in the future – it took a lot of special care and time to get it all just right, but hey, Santa has to start again right after Christmas, so maybe I will too!
*For those that are following along without the physical countdown, or for those that would like to recreate any of the items, I will include all the recipes at the bottom of each post.
When you open Day 1:
On the 1st Day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a cocktail with gin made by me!
You have opened, “Not Your Grandma’s Gin”, home infusion package. I giggle when I call it that, because, it is my Grandma’s gin. At least, that is, the package uses juniper berries from her juniper tree. Sadly, she had to have the tree taken down last year but she sent my cousin over with some huge limbs on the back of his Dad’s pickup truck so that I could harvest and dry all of the berries! And here they are in your very own DIY gin kit!
Never made gin? Me either until a few years ago. I learned that it is actually generally an infusion of an already distilled spirit, rather than its very own brand. I love that you have the ability to add or remove flavors according to your liking. I have tried several different ratios before. I found I DO NOT like the addition of a cinnamon stick (has an unnerving Fireball flavor) but I LOVE LOVE plenty of orange peel. And Peppercorns. And Spruce. Ok I may as well just give you the recipe at this point!!
Each bag (or if you want to make your own) includes:
A Sprig of Pine – I like Blue Spruce or Douglas Fir, so this time of year works out well – just take a bit of swag off your Christmas tree:)!
A few pieces of orange peel – fresh is totally fine if you are prepping and making your infusion at once, I just dried mine since I was doing it ahead of time!
A few peppercorns, & a few juniper berries. If they are store bought dried juniper berries, you will definitely want to put them in the mortar and pestle and crack them open…I usually will even with my fresh ones so that they impart even more flavor.
And that’s it! You can add a clove or 2, some star anise, 1/2 of a bay leaf. I like a knob of fresh ginger just for the last day or so. Enjoy coming up with your own concoctions!
This amount is for 1/2 pint of gin. Add all of your aromatics to your jar & cover them in vodka. Agitate (fancy for shake) daily, and it will be ready for cocktail making by the 12th day of Christmas! I put a (ridiculous video from quarantine times) video below of my VERY favorite gin drink, the French 75. It is topped with champagne, so a perfect holiday beverage, however, your homemade infusion with a little tonic water over ice and a twist of lemon is a GREAT way to get the true taste of all of your gin magic as well!! Please let me know below how yours turned out & what you made with it!! Enjoy!