Pimp My GIN: Clare’s Cardamom Gin

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Have you got some ordinary gin, some fruit and spices, oh, and a jar?

Then you can make your own Craft Gin.


Craft gin is big business these days with small distilleries making gins infused with interesting botanical combinations, but they don’t come cheap. Most of this range of new gins can cost up to €50 a bottle.


Now we all do love these creative and carefully made tipples but what about infusing an ordinary bottle of Smirnoff, or Aldi’s best, and making your own ‘craft gin’ for a fraction of the price?

Why not try this recipe for Cardamom Gin, that I found in The Simple Things magazine. Don’t be alarmed at some of the ingredients – I’ve looked online and everything that’s not available in an Irish supermarket can be found to buy online.


500 ml gin (a cheaper brand is better for taking on the other flavours)

2 tbsp juniper berries

2 tbsp green cardamom pods

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

2 strips of orange peel (avoid the white pith because it’s very bitter)

Few sprigs of mint (optional)



  1. Mix everything together in a jug, then transfer to a sterilised bottle.
  2. Leave in a cool dark place for 3-4 days.
  3. Strain the drink, transfer it to a clean sterilised bottle and refrigerated until required.
  4. When the mood takes you, serve with plenty of ice and tonic.


Homemade Tonic Water

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you could even try your hand at making your own Tonic Water too. This recipe comes from www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle


Whipping up a batch of tonic water is fairly easy. The hardest part is finding all the ingredients, but a quick online search should furnish you with all that you need.


1 litre water

500g sugar

Zest and juice of 2 limes

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 orange

28g cinchoa bark

28g citric acid

1-4 sticks of lemongrass

2-4 cardamom pods

10 allspice berries

Soda water



  1. Put all the ingredients except the soda water into your pan and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. Stir to ensure the sugar has fully dissolved.
  2. Allow to cool, then strain the syrup into bottles. It will keep in the fridge for about a month.
  3. When using, dilute at around 4:1 with soda water to make fizzy tonic water.
  4. This recipe yields a one-litre bottle with a bit left over. The extra bit can be frozen as ice cubes and used in gin and soda water, making a gin and tonic that slowly becomes more tonic-y, and therefore more refreshing, as it warms!


I think a bottle of each would make a fabulous, and much appreciated, gift.







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