“Gin is basically vodka that’s infused with roots, and herbs and spices,” says Leach. “Kevin and I both have an interest in cocktails, and we started talking about how it would be fun to make a kit where anyone could make their own gin out of vodka.”
The result of the talking is the Kitchen Alchemist’s Botanical Git Kit. The kit contains everything you need to make gin, except the vodka. (You can buy this on your own. Leach recommends using cheap vodka, since expensive vodka doesn’t really make a big difference when it comes to the flavour of the gin.) The kit itself contains 12 ingredients in small bags. They are juniper berries (the one key ingredient for making gin), as well as cinnamon, licorice root, coriander, orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, peppercorns, grains of paradise, lavender, orris root and Angelica root. The kit also comes with a gin recipe card.
With the kit, the whole gin-making process takes about a week. You can add as much or as little of the included ingredients as you like – you can play with the gin recipe to suit your own palate and, according to Leach, it’s impossible to mess it up. The kit contains enough ingredients to infuse gin two or three times. Each infusion will make 26 ounces of gin.
Of course, the spices are sourced from all over the world but each gin kit is hand-assembled at the Silk Road Spice Merchant, and Kent of Inglewood provided the design for the recipe card and packaging.
The Kitchen Alchemist’s Botanical Gin Kit is available for $30 from The Silk Road Spice Merchant (1403 9 Ave. S.E., 403-261-1955, silkroadspices.ca) and Kent of Inglewood (1319 9 Ave. S.E., 403-457-1595, kentofinglewood.com). The kit cannot be purchased online at this time.