Gin Lover? Grow Your Own Gin Garden!
Gin has experienced a boom in popularity in the UK, with supermarket shelves stocked full of the stuff and trendy bars popping up in every town and city. As of March 2018 there were 315 gin distilleries in the UK, more than double the number there were five years previously!
If you're partial to a nice gin and tonic, did you know you can create all sorts of wonderful concoction using your own homegrown produce? Here are a few ideas of how you can grow your own gin botanicals in your veg patch!
Make Your Own Rhubarb Gin
Rhubarb gin is very trendy for the spring, perfect timing with forced rhubarb being harvested! As well as baking your rhubarb into some delicious desserts, save some to make a tasty tipple - it couldn't be easier.
To make your own rhubarb gin, you'll need around 1kg of rhubarb stalks. After harvesting, wash the rhubarb, trim the stalks and discard the base and any leaves. Cut the stalks into 3cm long pieces and place them in a large jar with 400g caster sugar. Shake it all up, put the lid on and leave for around 24 hours.
After a day has passed, add 800ml of decent quality gin to your jar, seal it up and give it a good shake again. Leave this somewhere cool for around 4 weeks and give it a stir every few days to help the sugar dissolve. Strain the liquor through a muslin line sieve into a bottle - there you go, simple as that!
Make Your Own Pineapple Gin
If like us you like growing something a little more exotic in your greenhouse, our Tropical Planter is perfect for growing all sorts of tropical plants, including pineapple! This too can be harvested and made into a delicious summery G&T, and it uses the peels, so you're not wasting any of that fruit!
Add around 125 g of pineapple peel, 100g of pineapple chunks, 25g of toasted coconut flakes and 25g of caster sugar to a large jar and shake it all up. Leave it for a few hours to let the sugar pull the flavour out of the pinapple. Add your gin and keep the jar in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks - give it a stir every couple of days to help dissolve the sugar.
Make Your Own Cucumber and Rose Gin
Our Quadgrow self watering planter is marvellous for producing huge harvests of delicious veg, including cucumbers. Use some of your bountiful harvests to make some of this sophisticated and refreshing gin.
Peel half of a cucumber, halve it lengthways and remove the seeds using a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into 1cm pieces and add it to a large jar along with around 350ml of gin. Store the jar in a cool dark place for up to a week.
After a week, add 2tsp of rose water, seal the jar and gently swirl it around. Strain the gin into a bottle and enjoy!
Make Your Own Spiced Blackberry Gin
This is a great drink for Autumn and Winter if you've had blackberries growing in your garden or allotment, or if you've been bramble picking, You'll need around 300g of blackberries, 300 g of caster sugar and a large cinnamon stick.
Wash the blackberries and add them to a large jar along with the sugar and a cinnamon stick. Add your gin and keep aside in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks, giving a stir or turn every day to help the sugar dissolve.
Strain through a sieve into bottles - don’t press the fruit through the sieve if you want to keep the liquid fairly clear.
Grow Your Own Gin Garnishes
A gin and tonic is nothing without a good garnish - lots of popular garnishes are really easy to grow at home, and are perfect for all sorts of other uses in the kitchen.
Grow Your Own Herbs
Herbs are commonly used as garnishes, particularly basil, coriander, rosemary, thyme and mint. Keep them growing all year round with our Herbgrow planter, which will keep herbs perfectly fed and watered for up to 2 weeks at a time. The drip-proof design makes it suitable for indoor use - keep it on your kitchen windowsill and enjoy fresh herbs all year round.
Grow Your Own Citrus
Our Tropical Planter is perfect for growing lemons, grapefruit and limes in a well lit conservatory or heated greenhouse. They are fairly hardy but the automatic watering will help you to keep them watered.
Grow Your Own Strawberries
This sweet fruit is always popular in summer and make a yummy garnish to gin and tonics - our Chilligrow is perfect for keeping strawberry plants perfectly watered for up to 7 days for heaps of juicy fruits! You can also grow strawberries in wall mounted pots, hanging baskets or hanging planters due to their naturally trailing nature - keeping them off the ground will help stop slugs and snail damage.
Have you made any of your own gin concoctions from your homegrown fruit and veg?
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