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Here’s the latest in our winter citrus adventures—a Japanese-inspired blend with yuzu and green tea as the hero botanicals. It’s a juniper-forward London dry-style, and we are really ramping up the juniper. We have upped the proportion of the more potent Himalayan juniper to a 50/50 ratio with our classic Macedonian (you can read up about their flavour profiles here). Then, the juniper berries go in the pot with our neutral spirit while the rest of the botanicals sit in the botanical baskets of our 3L alquitar. The delicate yuzu and green tea are placed in the very top basket where the vapours are slightly cooler, and hopefully will preserve some of the more delicate notes of both these hero botanicals.

The resulting gin is reminds us of a deep, cool pool—crisp juniper with clear, high notes of yuzu, and a gentle perfumed spice from the green tea and cassia—it’s clean, smooth and well-balanced. We’ll enjoy sharing this with friends and family for Matariki.

And we won’t be the only ones enjoying this citrus in these short, cold days. In Japan, yuzu is an integral part of winter solstice celebrations. Whole yuzu are scored to release their aromatic oils, then floated in a bath called a ‘yuzu-yu’—a much more literal fragrant pool.

Green Tea and Yuzu Dry Gin
(35.5g per litre of neutral spirit)

10g Macedonian juniper
10g Himalayan juniper
6g coriander
1g angelica
1g liquorice
1g cassia
1g orris
3g green tea
1g dried yuzu peel
1.5g fresh yuzu peel*

*Note, if you don’t have fresh yuzu peel, substitute another fresh citrus—yuzu layers very well with different citrus varieties. Or you can an extra 1g of dried yuzu instead.

Also note that all of our recipes are measured per 1L of neutral spirit unless otherwise stated. So with 2L of neutral spirit in our 3L alquitar, the full botanical load was 71g—and of that, the juniper went into the pot, to allow the alcohol and heat to draw out even more flavour from our juniper (below).


  • Mark says:

    Good morning. My gin is coming out of the aquitar very cloudy and I think it’s because i soak the juniper before hand and also do you put your botanical in bags?
    Cheers mark

    • Jess at The Alembics Lab says:

      Hi Mark,

      From your question it seems it’s cloudy coming straight out of the still, not when you proof it – is that correct?

      If it’s cloudy coming straight out of the still then it sounds like there is too much oil from the juniper coming through. Couple of questions:
      – How much juniper (in grammes) are you using per litre of neutral spirit?
      – How long are you macerating/soaking it for?

      Let us know.

  • Mark says:

    Hi Jess Thanks for that. Just 20gms of juniper per litre and I macerate over night so maybe too long ?and yes coming straight from the still. I sent this question again sorry as I didn’t see your reply so disregard that one
    Cheers mark

    • Jess at The Alembics Lab says:

      Hi Mark, not a problem, sorry it’s been taking me a day to respond.
      This kind of cloudiness basically means that you don’t need to use that much juniper with the method you’re using. So yes, your instincts are right about the overnight soaking. Alcohol is a great solvent, and very good at extracting those VOCs from the juniper.
      You have a few options. You can simply macerate for a shorter period of time (say a few hours, or even just put the juniper in the pot just before you distil) and see if you like the results. Or you can continue with your overnight maceration, but just use less juniper. Perhaps try reducing by 5g and see what happens. It will also reduce cost (it’s one of the reasons commercial distillers opt for maceration over pure vapour-infusion). If you find it’s still happening, then you can either knock it back further, or try taking a very small heads shot (first 5ml or so on a 3L still) and see if that makes any difference. Though when you are distilling small amounts, it’s probably more efficient to knock back the juniper than start taking heads shots on a flavouring run.

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