Style » Food/Drink

DIY Gin Kit Reinvents the Home Cocktail Party

by Matthew Wexler
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jan 9, 2013

Leave it to the ingenious minds of young entrepreneurs Jack Hubbard and Joe Maiellano to package what was once used during the Middle Ages as a useless remedy for the Black Death into a DIY kit for the ultimate home cocktail party.

The longtime friends who spend their days in Washington DC's bustling circuit of politics and public affairs have concocted The HomeMade Gin Kit, which makes it possible to craft small batch gin from the comfort of your kitchen (or anywhere else for that matter) without the use of costly - and illegal - distilling equipment.

Mix and Mingle

The HomeMade Gin Kit arrives adorned in a sleek white box and includes a unique blend of spices, botanicals and flowers, a tin full of juniper berries, two Italian glass bottles, a double mesh fine strainer, and a funnel.

Maillano, who is an avid home bartender and cook (he appeared on a past season of Gordon Ramsey’s "MasterChef"), says, "It’s really about caring about what you’re consuming. When you use our kit, you’re not only involved in making what you’re about to drink; you’re also gaining a better understanding of what the finished product is, what to look for in commercial gins, and of what you can do better next time."

What the kit doesn’t include is an affordable bottle of vodka. In the spirit of gin’s dark past, there’s no need to spend a fortune on a high-end brand. It’s debatable whether the original spirit was invented by Dutch professor of medicine Franciscus de la Boe in the 16th century or if Italian monks had been crafting the spirit out of crude grain alcohol for centuries before as the key ingredient of juniper berries were plentiful throughout the region.

In either case, this modern day gin kit relies on simple instructions, transforming the vodka into homemade gin with a rich blend of juniper berries followed by an array of carefully selected and hand weighed spices, botanicals, flowers and aromatics.

"I see the HomeMade Gin Kit as a bridge between folks who already have discerning tastes when it comes to commercial gins, and folks who are real cocktail snobs and are already making their own bitters and tonics at home," says Maillano. "We’re a steppingstone that teaches our customers about the process and gives them the tools to start exploring more on their own."

The HomeMade Gin Kit is available for $39.95 + shipping at

The Negroni

(courtesy of the International Bar Association)
1 part gin
1 part sweet red vermouth
1 part Campari

Stir in Old Fashioned glass over ice, garnish with orange peel and serve.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.


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