Chilli and lime gin

So where are you at in your gin making life? Just starting out or looking to branch into flavour combinations? Whichever stage you are at, you need to try this chilli and lime gin.

For this we’re talking about some cracking flavours – both citrus and a bit of heat – all mixed in with the botanicals to give you a really flavoursome gin. It’s so good that you’re not going to want to stop sipping.

Almost a family recipe

This recipe is one that’s sort-of-but-not-really a family recipe. The first time I made it was not long after a trip to see my much-missed great uncle. He lived in Perthshire and he grew all manner of things in his greenhouse. In amongst the tomatoes and other leaves was the gold: the chilli plants.

I said they looked great and, as things tend to do, the conversation became about food instantly. There were a few that were ready to harvested to make his annual donation to the village church’s summer fair: some chilli gin. Chilli gin that would be the vegetable competition prize. You couldn’t make it up.

Aside from thinking that I was clearly missing something if that’s what church fairs offered (spoiler: they don’t), I knew I needed to make some myself.

Clearly the ‘gin genes’ run in the family, so getting home that evening I got brainstorming on this recipe. I added the lime for a bit for another level of flavour, and since then I’ve made it almost annually.

lime and chilli gin

The colour of this chilli and lime gin is absolutely stunning. Especially in sunlight, the green comes through from the lime to make it look so refreshing. The flavour then ramps it up to 11 with both heat and zest.

It’s a summery looking drink, with a little devil on the inside. It’s perfect to cut through big flavours if you’re sitting back after a BBQ, and equally it’s quite at home in a glass throughout the autumn months to warm you up on a crisp day.

You can drink it over ice or with some tonic in a G and T.

Spice up; spice down

One of the best parts about this recipe is that you can make it really hot or pretty tame. The recipe below is a pretty good mid point on this scale. I wanted it to have a pretty good hit of spice to it, but also a) I am wimp and can’t handle too much spice; and b) too much spice would drown all the other flavours, making it a little pointless.

If you’re feeling like you’re going to need it way spicier, you can always add a second chilli in or taste at the mid-way point in the process and add some more. What I wouldn’t recommend is adding any sort of powder or flaked chillies – this isn’t going to be the same and will end up as a mushy mess.

Chilli and Lime Gin

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Chilli and Lime Gin

Chilli and lime gin


  • Author: Craig
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + 2 weeks
  • Total Time: 10 minutes + 2 weeks
  • Yield: 500ml 1x

Description

This is a deliciously warming gin. For the gin base I used Gordon’s – any half decent gin will do (not own brand: if it tastes like paint stripper beforehand, it will do so afterwards as well!) but don’t go too fancy as subtler notes will be overpowered by the flavours. I make mine in a 1 litre kilner jar I got online. The Usual Saucepans obviously supports responsible drinking (but has been known to err itself, on occasion).


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 red chillies
  • 2 limes
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 500ml gin

Instructions

Get a large preserving jar (mine was a 1 litre one) and put the zest and juice of the limes into it. To this add the chillies, sugar and about a third of the gin. Swirl and shake until the sugar has dissolved and then add in the rest of the gin. Shake again.

Put in a cool, dark place and leave for about a fortnight (no one can be expected to wait much longer!) remembering to give it a good shake every day or two.

Once the gin has a strong green colour to it drain it – I use a sieve and lined with kitchen roll, but a cheesecloth does the same job – and pour the liquid into a pre-sterilised bottle.

Serve over ice, with a splash or two of tonic.

  • Category: Drinks

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