Wednesday 5 January 2011

Lab Update #4—Apple Gin Recipe

Lab Update #4—Home-made Apple Gin Recipe

Whilst investigating potential ingredients for an upcoming article "Raiders of the Lost Cocktail Cabinet" I came across a long-lost ingredient, apple gin. Made in the UK this was sweetened apple-infused gin, though sadly it has been unavailable for a long time.

A form of apple gin is available in the USA, made by Seagram's (the second biggest gin producer in the world). It's part of their "twisted" range and, along with their Purple Grape variety, it sadly isn't up to much. It certainly doesn't match the above description. So in the spirit of The Institute I decided to make my own.

Recipes for apple gin or apple vodka are a bit thin on the ground—many of them also contain pears, so not much luck there. One useful tidbit I did find was that red apples were consistently recommended for the best results.

The apples were peeled and cored and then added to some gin (I used Tesco's Distiller's Reserve—perfectly good in its own right, of course) I added a little lemon to bring out the flavour. I didn't sweeten it at this point as I wanted to see how the flavour would turn out first.

It took about two weeks to get a decent amount of flavour out of the apples, I then sweetened it with some sugar syrup, at about one part syrup to four parts gin.

The result: a light straw-coloured liquid smelling of cut apples, a little vanilla and a slightly bitter note. A good amount of the gin comes through with apple in the middle and towards the and. The finish is juniper. One thing that is clear is that this is certainly apple gin, my only criticism being that I should probably have added a little more sugar.*

I then tried it in a cocktail:

3/6 Apple Gin
1/6 Orgeat (Almond) Syrup
1/6 Lemon Juice
1/6 Kirsch

This was pretty tasty and lack of sweetness in the apple gin was compensated by the orgeat, the overall impression was apple marzipan, with the lemon juice and kirsch there to balance out the sweetness. Not a bad first cocktail to try this with.

* Adding a little sugar syrup to a glass does improve things.


  1. Chase are now doing an "apple gin", though it does not seem to be a base gin which is then infused with apples (and sweetened), but rather a gin in which apples are one of the botanicals (presumably distilled along with the other botanicals rather than cold infused afterwards). Their website is a bit garbled but I'm assuming the base spirit is their potato vodka.

  2. Chase is an Apple distillate that is used as a base to make a traditional gin.

  3. It's rum-tasting at its finest: a virtual rum tasting at your own home! The next time you are looking for a fun, new activity for the family to enjoy, why not consider rum-tasting?