Aviation Gin Blog
The Distiller Files – Making Gin
At House Spirits, the creation of Aviation American Gin’s flavor begins with our selection and treatment of our botanical and spice blend. Choosing an array of ingredients that blend harmoniously into a vibrant gin that works well in cocktails is the first step, but just as important is the way that we extract flavors from these components before we perform our daily distillation. In gin-making there are several ways to extract flavors and aromas from botanicals, but the way that best suits Aviation American Gin is via our “tea-bag” method.
To begin, each day at the distillery begins with us carefully evaluating, weighing and preparing the seven botanicals that go into every batch of Aviation American Gin. In my favorite step, to get at the heart of the juniper flavor we give all the berries a gentle whacking to bruise them slightly. After that, we place our spice blend into large mesh bags that work just like a tea-bag, allowing liquid to flow freely through them. We tie the three tea-bags securely and add them to a tank containing high-proof ethanol.
Ethanol is a terrific solvent, meaning it’s very good at extracting flavors, color, and aromas from most things that it comes in contact with, including our spice mixture. After making sure to fully hydrate our tea-bags in almost-pure ethanol, we allow them to sit overnight. The next morning we remove the bags and pump our now-flavorful green-yellow spice/alcohol tea to our trusty still to make that day’s batch of Aviation American Gin. Through the distillation process, we leave the unwanted color and flavor components of our spice tea behind in the still, collecting only the balanced and delicious flavors of Aviation American Gin. Painstaking? Yes. But worth it? Absolutely. Cheers!
– Andrew Tice, Head Distiller
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