This is part of a series of three Gin Reviews where I experimented with Ginbrew’s Blue Ruin botanical blend. I tried making the same bathtub style gin using three different methodologies and compared the results. To see, if perhaps there’s a best way to make a bathtub style gin.
All three of the approaches use Reyka Vodka, which is an Icelandic vodka distilled from Barley and Wheat.
The Instant Approach
In this first mix, I sought to make a light and somewhat brighter gin. The quick maceration will likely keep some deeper flavors for developing, instead looking to harness the botanicals natural brightness.
First, I took the botanicals and using a spice grinder, I chopped them into a fairly fine dust.
Next, I put the botanicals into a double layer coffee filter in a funnel and poured 250 mL of Reyka vodka over them. Using gravity filtration, similar to a “pour over” coffee, I waited.
The liquid made it through all of the botanicals rather quickly. It took fewer than 10 minutes for the vodka to make it through.
The spirit had a cloudy, deep goldenrod hue. In order to get a clearer, further filtered spirit, I put the mixture into the freezer for about 6 hours. Once chilled, I then filtered one more time through a very fine filter to remove as much cloudiness as I possibly could.
The resulting bathtub gin still had a goldenrod hue, but was much lighter and more golden than other bathtub gins.
Intensely herbal on the nose, with some notes of mentholated pine boughs, dry cracked coriander, and fennel. There’s also a spicy layer of cinnamon bark, and aniseed sweetness. It’s lively and quite interesting.
The palate is creamy and moderately spice forward. Notes of biscuit at first, with a buttery, Indian spice blend flavor mid-palate. It’s slightly bright with a bit of “sweet curry.” I’m getting fennel seed, cardamom and sweet/spicy coriander. There’s then a bit of caraway seed, and a gently camphor bathed finish of sweet coriander, and baking spice.
The juniper seems to contribute nicely on the nose, but the most striking thing about th is quick gravity filtration method was that the juniper didn’t come through as brightly, despite being a massive component of the beginning spice blend.
However, flavor wise, I find this to be quite memorable and really quite nice.
I thought of all the Bathtub style gins I’ve had, Blue Ruin through the gravity filtration method produced the best Gin and Tonic I’ve had from one of these kits. It’s certainly part the Ginbrew Blue Ruin botanical mix, but I think the method proved to be quite successful. Many of the bathtub gins I’ve had are deep golden or even brown in hue, making them somewhat unattractive ingredients for most cocktails. I’m glad to report that this one, perhaps only a shade less Neon than Ungava Gin, works not too bad. The Aviation may be muddy and brown colored, but other drinks turn out with a slight and inviting golden hue.
I was surprised at how much the method can effect the flavor of the juniper; however, overall the approach and flavor is some of the best I’ve had. While juniper aficionados may want to opt for a longer steeping time, those looking for a bright and surprisingly mixable bathtub gin are recommended to try their next homemade gin kit as a quick gravity filtration approach
Recommended in its class.