So after making elderflower cordial a few days ago, someone asked what I did with all* of it. I reeled off – drink it, make elderflower jelly & add to prosecco. “What about adding to gin?” was the question. But to me that would overly sweeten something which does need to have a “bite”. It then got me thinking what about infusing the gin with the elderflowers.
I did what everyone now does when face with a new idea and googled it. Not many gin infusers out there (which is never a good sign). Lots of elderflower liqueur recipes though (which I may try this week before the elderflowers are all gone for another year). I did find a couple of trailblazers though. Both had added sugar (4-5 tablespoons to 70cl of gin) and both had recommended not to leave the flowers in too long. Beyond that, no real tips or much of a recommendation to try.
However, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Out across the field to collect more flowers.
My version has less sugar than those I found via google. However I didn’t want to make a liqueur (yet at least) so held back reasoning that I could always add more later if needed.
I’ve got a big stock of Mason jars from previous sloe gin manufacture but any wide necked jar would do as long as it has a good seal (don’t want to risk spillage!).
I left the mix for just under 48 hours, any longer and the flowers might start to break down too much and taint the gin. I strained the liquid through a muslin cloth. I did read that you can use a water filter to get a clearer result but I figured that was going a little to far at this stage.
The result? Pale straw in colour (like a good sample should be!) lightly floral and definitely elderflowery. I’m glad I went light on the sugar, just enough to bring out the flavour without making the gin too sweet.
My experiment has opened up the door to new gin based alchemy. A friend has revealed that he makes his own gins from vodka, adding juniper berries and other botanicals to make various different concoctions. Things are escalating, a “Gin off” has been suggested.
Have you made your own gin before? Any/all suggestions or advice welcome!
Now enjoying the late evening sun with my new G&T!
*I have now made about 6 litres of cordial – some will be drunk over the next few weeks, some will be frozen. Not sure about the rest – sorbet? jellies?