Homemade DIY Gin Recipe and a Simple DIY Gin Kit

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Homemade Gin Kit and DIY Gin Recipe

I’ve been trying lots of new DIY projects lately and one I’m super psyched about is this homemade DIY gin kit. It’s available for sale at Amazon (Amazon Prime eligible) as well as Darby Smart, where I’ve been purchasing a lot of my DIY craft kits lately.

I’ve been tempted for a while to buy the entire kit, but I instead opted for simply purchasing the homemade gin refill kit available from Darby Smart which is essentially a tin of the botanicals you need to infuse vodka to taste like gin. It’s $15 with free shipping and makes sense if you want to try this out before buying the botanicals in bulk for your own recipe blend. And since you have to buy the vodka anyway, you can simply re-use the same vodka bottle for the gin without having to fork out a lot of extra money for fancy vintage styled bottles. (Or if you want to get fancy, use a Bormioli Rocco Giara Bottle With Stopper.) Then simply use cheesecloth to drain the botanicals out of the final product.

Running your homemade gin through a Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher five times will remove any remaining sediment. (Be sure to start with a new filter and soak it in water for fifteen minutes before using.) This is optional of course depending on the end product you’re looking for. If you used cheap vodka I highly recommend not skipping this step.

Now use your homemade gin to make a classic French 75. (A French 75 is the same as the French 95 but it’s made with gin instead of bourbon. (Check out this popular recipe here.)

If you’re ready to make your own botanical blend – and get more bang for your buck – give this DIY gin recipe a go. Then feel free to punch it up with other botanicals of your choosing.

DIY Gin Recipe


3 Tablespoons juniper berries
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
5 cardamon pods, broken into pieces
6 whole allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon dried grapefruit peel


Combine all ingredients in large glass jar with 3 cups of vodka and tightly close lid. Shake well then allow to steep for 36 hours. Strain through cheesecloth and then use a funnel to fill up your final bottle of choice.

Experiment with making your own homemade DIY gin recipes by adding or subbing some of the ingredients with a small amount of other herbs and botanicals such as but not limited to Star Anise, whole cloves, Thai basil, cherrywood, whole nutmeg, and cilantro leaf.

Also be sure to follow my new-ish Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest for homemade cocktail recipes for all occasions. Or follow Soap Deli News via Blog Lovin’ and never miss a post!

Hunter’s French 95 Cocktail Recipe

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Hunter's French 95 Cocktail Recipe - A delicious custom version of the 1920's cocktail made with bourbon and champagne!

Bourbon has never been my drink of choice, however, Hunter – the man behind the scenes and behind the bar at a local restaurant called Lucky – was able to bring me around.

Hunter is without a doubt the best mixologist I know. While he’s only been bartending for 4 1/2 years, he has a unique knack for not only mixing drinks to perfection, but has also mastered the skill of inventing his own great cocktails. Key ingredients are house made like the lemongrass infused tonic, simple syrup, maraschino cherries and even smoked apple ice cubes that are paired with small batch bourbon. Other ingredients are simply fresh from the source like the shaken egg whites that go into my favorite drink, the Silver Fizz, and seasonal drinks made using fresh watermelon or cucumber. Finally, you’ll only find top shelf liquor behind this bar.

How to Make Hunter's Version of the French 95 Classic Cocktail

Of course, with such devotion to the drinks, you can’t leave out the food. The menu at Lucky is also chosen and invented with the same care as the cocktails as Hunter strives to bring the best of both worlds – food and drinks – together for a phenomenal experience.

DIY Homemade French 95 Cocktail Recipe

The drink that brought me around to bourbon is the French 95. Hunter of course has put his own twist on the recipe that has fans around the city asking bartenders at other bars, both locally and while traveling, to make a French 95 like Hunter does. I’ve yet to find another local establishment that can meet the expectations that Hunter has set, but then not everyone stocks the same bourbon or creates their simple syrup and garnish from scratch.

How to Make a French 95 Cocktail

Still, Hunter was kind enough to share his love of bourbon with us, by sharing his cocktail recipe for the French 95. First created in the 1920s, the French 95 is quickly rising in popularity in Roanoke much in the way Cosmos took off again after Mad Men first aired. Here’s his version of the recipe.

French 95 Cocktail Recipe

Hunter’s French 95 Cocktail Recipe


1 oz. Evan Williams Black Bourbon
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
3 oz. Cava Sparkling Wine
Maraschino Cherry


Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and orange bitters in a shaker with crushed ice and shake well. Now strain into a champagne coupe – a delightful glass rumored to have been patterned after Marie Antoinette’s breasts for all of you Jeopardy fans – then finish by pouring the champagne or sparkling wine on top and adding a cherry.

Should you live in Roanoke, VA or are simply visiting, I highly recommend you add Lucky to your “to do” list. It’s definitely an experience you’ll love to have again and again. You can find Lucky online and on facebook. They are open six days a week Monday through Saturday for dinner starting at 5pm.