Does anyone else feel like they have a constantly growing list of potential hobbies, which they'd take up if only they had the starting money? I have no idea if it's legal to distill gin in your house in America, but Wired.co.uk has published an instruction guide, and it looks like fun.
Distil base ingredients Re-distil some vodka, keeping the temperature at 80C. The vodka will end up at 80 per cent. Add distilled water to take it back down to about 55 per cent.
Add the botanicals "You could 'one shot' the gin -- throwing in all the ingredients," Feltham says. It's better to make a gin for each ingredient (juniper, lemon etc), then mix them after.
Unfortunately they quote the equipment as costing £300, almost $500 American.
The flavoring process sounds like fun, too:
Add creative flavours Feltham recommends trying coriander seed, angelica root and orris. He has made popcorn gin and is working on grass - freshly-cut grass - "not the other type."
I want to make avocado gin. Just to try it.
It is, in fact, illegal to distill your own alcohol in the US -- though it seems possible to apply for a license, and maybe even possible to get one.
You cannot produce spirits for beverage purposes without paying taxes and without prior approval of paperwork to operate a distilled spirits plant. [See 26 U.S.C. 5601 & 5602 for some of the criminal penalties.] There are numerous requirements that must be met that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal or beverage use. Some of these requirements are paying excise tax, filing an extensive application, filing a bond, providing adequate equipmentto measure spirits, providing suitable tanks and pipelines, providing a separate building (other than a dwelling) and maintaining detailed records, and filingreports. All of these requirements are listed in 27 CFR Part 19.
Spirits may be produced for non-beverage purposes for fuel use only without payment of tax, but you also must file an application, receive TTB's approval, and follow requirements, such as construction, use, records and reports.