By Jacob Richler - Wednesday, January 2, 2013 - 0 Comments
A DIY kit turns vodka into urine-coloured booze—for $80
When a small mail-order company in northern Virginia recently marketed a kit for making your own gin, they quickly learned something about the contemporary imagination: in short, the glamour of the bootleg-era HBO series Boardwalk Empire counts for a lot more than, say, the visions of Hogarth or the sorrows of John Cheever. Which is to say that sales were through the roof.
“Eleventh-century Italian monks. Early American colonists. Prohibition bootleggers . . . you,” the attached instruction sheet begins. “Welcome to the exclusive fraternity of small-batch, home gin producers.”
Agreed, making one’s own gin does seem like heady stuff. And it’s hard to imagine a fraternity or club anywhere near so exclusive that one can join for only $39.99, plus shipping. But alas, only moments after my kit arrived and I tore the box open on the kitchen counter with all the greedy anticipation of a six-year-old attacking the first gift of Christmas morning, it occurred to me that I hadn’t thought this business through.