In the bar I have a lovely old wooden cabinet mounted on the wall, full of glass flasks with little cardboard tags tied on with string. They contain my ‘children’. Gin, tequila and vodka with various botanicals steeping away inside them. They get tasted at least weekly. If the results are good, they get made in larger batches.

Some of my favourites are:

Vanilla Bean: 3 x high grade Madagascan vanilla pods in organic Vodka-O vodka
Rose petal (use fragrant roses or all you get is colour!)
Chamomile flower: picked fresh
Spearmint and vodka
Tequila and Cayenne chili
Coffee bean and vodka
Gin and blueberries
Vodka and lemongrass (ends up grassy, not lemony. great with apple juice)
Cinnamon and vodka.

At this stage, all of the experiments are kept at room temperature, I’ve not tried heating them as yet. I know the infusion process would be faster, but there is something nice about the waiting period: the routine tasting and testing until the desired flouvour and colour has been released from the raw ingredient.


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