Review: Sandy Leaf Farm’s ‘The Ultimate Gin Maker’s Kit’
I received the Sandy Leaf Farm’s ‘Ultimate Gin Maker’s Kit‘ as a 2019 Christmas present, approximately 11 months after Christmas – I’d like to blame Covid, but that actually wasn’t the cause for the delay. I thought the best gins to initially try and make from this kit was the Christmas gin and the Gingerbread gin – after all ’tis the season, just one year later!
After the Christmas gin went well and was tried and tested with no casualties, I decided to do a show and tell for my next one, and here it is…
To give you some context about me, I love gin – I have many different bottles, different varieties, different flavours, different mixers. Some may call me a connoisseur, some may use slightly less favourable descriptions, but that’s just ‘gin off a duck’s back‘, so let’s continue.
I’ve seen gin making kits previously but I can’t really compare the Sand Leaf kit against anything. The product comes with everything you need to make 10 bottles of your own gin, bar something to store and make it in, and some essential vodka!
Included in the kit:
- Several bags of ingredients
- Juniper berries
- Pop-up funnel
- Brown paper tags and twine
- Measuring spoons
- Instructions/Recipe booklet
Price wise, the additional vodka I bought for the Gingerbread gin was the cheapest of the cheap, I mean it cost just under £10 for 70cl (two 35cl bottles). For the Christmas gin I bought a bottle of 70cl Smirnoff on offer at £13. Bar the obvious gin flavourings, I couldn’t tell you what difference the vodka makes to the end result, so just get the cheap, cheap stuff is my recommendation.
I also bought some plastic fridge jugs from Morrisons for £3.50 – these had a removable top and a pourable lid. For storing the gin I got some 1000ml Kilner clip top bottles at £4.95 each from Amazon, and I also bought tiny 100ml ones for forcing my friends to drink to my creations.
Time: The whole process takes about a week, depending on how strong you want the gin to be and how well the flavours take. The Christmas gin and Gingerbread gin both use very strong flavours, which is great because it means it was ready to drink quickly.
Step 1) Infuse the vodka with the juniper berries for 3-5 days. Add both to the jug and then simply, leave it be. I personally didn’t taste this section at all and I waited 5 days before moving on to adding my flavours.
Step 2) After 5 days it was now the time to add the flavourings. For the gingerbread you need 1 large scoop of ginger, 1 small scoop of Christmas and 1 small scoop of cacao. I added this to my concoction and then left it again for 2 days. At this point, I tried some and found that I actually wanted it to taste a bit stronger, so I left it for 1 more day before I was ready to pour.
Step 3) Pour the gin by using the funnel and the strainer to strain the liquid directly into the bottle that will be used to store the drink. Of course, now was a great time to make myself a nice tipple as a treat.
As a gift idea, the Ultimate Gin Maker’s Kit is fabulous! It doesn’t take up much space or time, but you still get a real sense of achievement from creating these gins yourself. The booklet is very informative and gives plenty of advice on how to create your own recipes too. It eases you into a process that would become very easy to start experimenting with your own methods and flavours.
Price wise, it is currently £24.99 on the Sandy Leaf Farm website and I think that is a fairly reasonable price for what you’re getting. Obviously, sales are great right now and you should take advantage if you find one!
Overall, this is a must buy for gin enthusiasts and just for those who love a make-it-at-home kit. And now I can’t wait to make the other flavours included in this pack!
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