Friday, December 11, 2009

Egg Nog Iced Cream and Kitchen Gin

I am a gin person. I never really liked vodka, always found it sort of boring. It might be due to my upbringing, as my parents were gin people. There was always a bottle of Beefeater or Bols in the liquor cabinet. Or maybe it has to do with the strange buzz I seem to get from gin, one that amps me as opposed to rum, for example, which has a sedating effect. Nothing against sedation, but being a generally mellow person I don't think I need any help. So, when I saw this recipe (in Gourmet by Ian Knauer by way of Serious Eats) for making your own gin, my interest was piqued. When I saw it started with vodka my brow furrowed. It seemed a little suspect, but if all I had to lose was 400 ml of vodka and some spices, well then, why the hell not? Who doesn't want to make their own gin? Gin is, after all, a neutral spirit with infused botanicals; it can't be that preposterous. I filled up a pint jar with vodka and just halved his recipe for spices, used lemon and lime peel, and forewent the fresh herbs, which sounded great, but I just didn't have it on hand. I added one anise seed after reading a little more about gin and its components. Don't you love that Hogarth illustration, Gin Lane? Here's the accompanying poem:

Gin, cursed Fiend, with Fury fraught,
Makes human Race a Prey.
It enters by a deadly Draught
And steals our Life away.

Virtue and Truth, driv'n to Despair
Its Rage compells to fly,
But cherishes with hellish Care
Theft, Murder, Perjury.

Damned Cup! that on the Vitals preys
That liquid Fire contains,
Which Madness to the heart conveys,
And rolls it thro' the Veins.

Right now the gin tastes interesting, but I'm not ready for it now. The real test will be cocktail hour by the fire, which by then anything will do, so I'm sure as long as I don't go blind everything will be just fine. Afterwards, there's nothing exciting for dinner, but look out dessert! When a quart of egg nog is sitting in the fridge about to expire what do you do? Why, you pour it into your ice cream maker and make, wait for it: egg nog ice cream!! Seriously, how good and easy is this? Just pour the whole quart of egg nog in and turn the machine on. Twenty minutes later you have good stuff to transfer to a container bound for the freezer to firm up a bit. That is, if you can resist it right then and there.

P.S. The titles reference to iced cream with a "d" is a nod to a friend of mine who feels strongly that if we are going to call it iced tea we had better be calling it iced cream. Not my rant, his. But he has a point...


  1. WOW I'm totally impressed you made your own gin!!!! Great job!

  2. mAYBE NEXT year I will make elderberry wine. I hope so.
    This year I tried to make a pie
    and stopped because there were
    cobwebs in the berries.


  3. What are those black things floating in the gin? Peppercorns?


  4. Thanks, Steph! Although, I do believe it was more like gin flavored vodka, upon tasting it...Oh well!

    Mamou, those are juniper berries. Hope to try your elderberry wine next year. My elderberries seem to be the favorites of the deer...

  5. I have juniper berries galore here! All over the hillside where I really just want good grazing pasture for the horses - damn junipers! But on the other hand, I love squishing them in my fingers and smelling the fresh crushed berries...and guess what....they smell just like gin!

    Ever smell them? You've got to.

    Maybe I can send you some juniper berries. Seriously...want some? Tell me, and they're on their way. Make more gin?

    Would that be a food swap? Or just a berry swap?