Mock Gin

No bathtubs are required to make this aromatic ersatz gin. Nick Fauchald simply infuses vodka with the botanicals professional distillers use, including juniper berries and orange peel. The fragrant, amber-colored (and lawful) result is delicious in martinis and other gin-based cocktails.


Slideshow:  View Gin Cocktails


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 3 1/2 liters
  • Time(Other): plus overnight steeping

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  • 3 1/2 liters plus 350 milliliters neutral-tasting vodka, such as Smirnoff
  • 1/2 cup juniper berries (30 grams)
  • 1/3 cup dried orange peel (6 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon grains of paradise (4 grams); see Note
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds (4 grams)
  • One 1-inch piece of dried ginger root (2 grams); see Note
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (2 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon orris root (2 grams); see Note

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the 350 milliliters of vodka with the juniper berries, orange peel, grains of paradise, cardamom, ginger root, coriander and orris root. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over moderately low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 6 hours or overnight.

  2. Strain the essence through a double layer of cheesecloth into a large pitcher. Add the 3 1/2 liters of vodka and stir to combine. Pour the gin into bottles and seal.

Make Ahead

The mock gin can be kept in a capped bottle at room temperature for up to 1 month.


Grains of paradise are seeds from a West African plant in the ginger family. Dried ginger root, unlike ground ginger, is the whole root dried. Orris root, an antiquated term for "iris root," is literally the aromatic root of several iris species, used in gin and in some perfumes. All three can be found at specialty stores and at Kalustyan’s (212-685-3451).

Contributed By Photo © Max Kim Bee Published December 2007

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