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World Gin Day: Lemongrass-Ginger and Cucumber-Lime Gin Infusions

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Logo from World Gin Day (worldginday.com)
Logo from World Gin Day (worldginday.com)

Not to turn my back on bourbon, which many know is a favorite spirit of mine, but the Gin and Tonic is one of my absolute favorite drinks. For World Gin Day, I’m excited to share recipes for two gin infusions that are perfect choices to use in my favorite cocktail.

I tend to stick with other herbs and spices or citrus when I infuse gin because it’s already herbal to begin with; it’s not neutral and open to most ingredients, like its cousin vodka. In this case, cucumber-lime and lemongrass-ginger are two flavor pairings that really work well and I enjoy drinking in a Gin and Tonic.

First, you’ll need to find a good tonic water. As easy as they are to find in grocery and convenience stores, tonic made by big soda manufacturers are not what I’ve come to enjoy in my drinks. I like Q’s line of gourmet sodas  and Fever Tree about the best. You’ll find tonic water, ginger beer, and club soda among other varieties from these brands in 4-pack single-serving bottles. Both run about $4.99 each at Wegmans and other grocery stores. Q also makes larger bottles, although I prefer the smaller sizes, which are good for making one or two drinks at a time without going flat.

I’ve also been told by my bartender friend, Stefanie, that there’s another alternative: tonic concentrate. Add it to club soda or seltzer water and proceed with making your drink. I found some in a specialty food store, but you can likely also get it on Amazon.

Next, you’ll need a quart-sized mason jar with a lid and some gin to put in it. Some gins are more herbal or uniquely-flavored than others. Use what you like that’s about middle-of-the-road (i.e., nothing super top-shelf that would cost you $40-50 a bottle) with a relatively neutral flavor. I wouldn’t recommend something like Tanqueray, which I love but has a good, pine-like flavor and can be on the more expensive side to justify using in this application. I generally go with New Amsterdam. It’s good quality and doesn’t have as distinctive of a flavor that would interfere with other ingredients. I find that it’s almost-always on sale at my local PA state liquor store for about $20 for a 1.5 liter bottle, too. Works for me.

After combining the ingredients, let sit a week and you should have a good infusion. At that point, strain the gin through a small, fine-mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Pour the gin back into the jar, cover, and label the jar. Store in the refrigerator and serve ice cold on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail, like a Gin and Tonic, one of my favorites.

Lemongrass-Ginger Infused Gin
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
3 d
 

Use in your favorite cocktails, like a Gin & Tonic. Not a fan of gin? Substitute vodka.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alcohol, alcoholic drinks, cocktail, gin, ginger, infused alcohol, infused gin, lemongrass
Servings: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1" piece ginger peeled
  • 32 oz gin or vodka (suggested: New Amsterdam)
Instructions
  1. Peel and coarsely chop the ginger. Crush or coarsely chop the lemongrass.

  2. Add lemongrass and ginger to a quart mason jar with a tight fitting screw-top lid (I used a mason jar.) Add gin to fill the jar, leaving about 1″ of space to put the lid on without spilling. Cover the jar and shake to mix ingredients.

  3. Set the jar in a cool, dry place for at least 2-3 days and up to a week, shaking the jar at least once a day. 

  4. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter back into a clean, quart mason jar. Cover and store until ready to use. Keep well-sealed and store for up to 3 months in a cool, dry place or preferably in the refrigerator. Sediment may accumulate on the bottom of your container. If over time your infusion doesn't taste the same, looks like it is growing mold on the surface, or it has cloudy strands floating in it, then throw it out.

Cucumber-Lime Infused Gin
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
3 d
 

Use in your favorite cocktails, like a Gin & Tonic. Not a fan of gin? Substitute vodka.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alcohol, alcoholic drinks, cocktail, gin, infused alcohol, infused gin, infused vodka, vodka
Servings: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • 32 oz gin or vodka (Suggested: New Amsterdam)
Instructions
  1. Cut cucumber into rounds, keeping the peel still on. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the lime peel, leaving the bitter white pith behind.

  2. Add cucumber and a few lime peels to a quart mason jar with a tight fitting screw-top lid. Add gin or vodka to fill the jar, leaving about 1″ of space to put the lid on without spilling. Cover the jar and shake to mix ingredients.

  3. Set the jar in a cool, dry place for at least 2-3 days and up to a week, shaking the jar at least once a day. 

  4. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a coffee filter back into a clean, quart mason jar. Cover and store until ready to use. Keep well-sealed and store for up to 3 months in a cool, dry place or preferably in the refrigerator. Sediment may accumulate on the bottom of your container. If over time your infusion doesn't taste the same, looks like it is growing mold on the surface, or it has cloudy strands floating in it, then throw it out.

Infused Gin & Tonic
Prep Time
5 mins
 

Really… it couldn’t be easier.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alcoholic drinks, cocktail, infused alcohol, infused gin, infused vodka
Servings: 1 drink
Ingredients
  • 2 oz infused gin or vodka
  • 1-2 lime wedges
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 dashes orange bitters (optional)
  • 4 oz tonic water (Suggested: Fever Tree brand or Q brand)
Instructions
  1. Fill a chilled Collins glass with ice.

  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off a long, thick stand from the cucumber. Add to glass.

  3. Add 2 oz infused gin, squeeze the juice of 1 or 2 lime wedges, and orange bitters (if using.)

  4. Top with 4 oz tonic water and stir. Serve immediately.

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