My Seville orange gin proved the saying that nothing homemade tastes better (but it won’t go to waste) – Steven Jardine

Precious Seville oranges are harvested and exported to the UK, mostly to make marmalade but occasionally to ruin a bottle of gin (Photo: Christina Quikler/AFP via Getty Images)

Last month at the supermarket, I spotted a shelf full of Seville oranges that only show up in January like gout, huge credit card bills, and Burns nerds. While I watched, they were snapped up by people who make their own marmalade.

I once tried to make jam and it was a real disaster, so I kept the safe in the store knowing that people make their own marmalade because the alternative is to stare into the void of your existence.

Later that week, I came across a Seville orange gin recipe. Nothing is easier than demanding only gin, oranges and sugar to get a result that rivals any expensive unlicensed flavored gin.

Well, I love gin and I love oranges, so when I got back to the supermarket that weekend, I decided, to spite the marmalade makers, to stock up on both and add another skill to my name: master distiller.

How hard can it be? Every village and every bus stop now has its own brand of gin, made by someone with a beard and HND in Doncaster Community College’s Drink Research. It’s just ethanol and flavoring, and if anyone can get away with making Streisand rhubarb gin, surely I can follow a simple recipe and make something drinkable?



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The actual method was simple and looked great in the firing jar before going into the closet for a month to develop. The instructions said I should shake the jar a few times and I may have forgotten about that and used demerara sugar because I didn’t have a caster and the cabinet might not have been as dark as it should have been, but everything else was fine.

Unfortunately, what emerged a few weeks later looked like what Robert Barr poured down the sink in 1901 while he was still searching for his elusive ideal formula for Irn-Bru. The worst was cloudy. Very cloudy.

Looking back at my original recipe, he suggested passing the finished product through a sieve and kitchen roll. I did that and it was still cloudy, but now with bits of kitchen paper added. However, with enough tonics and ice, how bad can that be? The answer was terribly terrible. Remember the commercial where the tango lover was slapped by an orange man? It was even worse.

Of course, I should have known, nothing tastes better than homemade. Bread is good during the day but goes stale, chutney is always tart, jam is usually thin, and homemade beer is for those men who would like to spend their honeymoon camping on Jeremy Clarkson’s farm, if he could ever find a woman who will marry him. .

In fact, from gin to piccalilli, the people who make these products are experts with tried and tested recipes, perfected over the years, and most importantly, with safety and hygiene.

However, I’m sure my Seville orange gin won’t go to waste. The next time someone brings me a jar of “delicious homemade pickles,” I know exactly what they’re bringing home.

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