golden raisins and gin, gin soaked raisins, gin-raisin remedy

Would you like to alleviate arthritis pain without drugs? Many people would, especially when they learn about potential NSAID side effects such as bleeding ulcers or cardiovascular complications. But what can you use to ease the pain? Quite a few folks are enthusiastic about a gin-raisin remedy. What would you like to know about it?

How Much Alcohol Is There in the Gin-Raisin Remedy?

Q. I’m interested in trying gin-soaked raisins for my arthritis pain. What is the percentage of alcohol in the raisins after they have been soaked in gin?

A. When we first started writing about this home remedy, we had the raisins tested with chromatography. In nine raisins (the recommended daily dose), there is approximately one drop of alcohol.

Will the Gin-Raisin Remedy Interfere with a Breathalyzer Test?

We have had questions about the possibility of failing a Breathalyzer test after eating gin-soaked raisins. While one drop of alcohol is a very small quantity, it might in theory be enough to mess up the test. So we recommend not taking the raisin just before you might be subjected to a test.

You can learn more about the gin-raisin remedy and many other non-drug approaches in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis. This 80-page online resource is available for $4.99 at You will be sent a link that allows you to consult it whenever you wish.

How to Make Gin-Soaked Raisins:

One detail-oriented reader sent a very complete recipe for gin-soaked raisins. Here it is:

Gin-Raisin Remedy:


London Dry Gin, 15 ounces, by liquid measure (NOT CHEAP GIN, cheap doesn’t work. I have used Tanqueray and Beef Eaters, both work. It is vital to have the botanicals, juniper berries, orange peel, etc that are in the imported London Dry Gin)

Golden Raisins, 15 oz box

Wide mouth, quart mason jar with a lid (or something that is about the same)


1. Pour the raisins out and pick out the darker raisins, the stems and any leaf pieces. (Stems and leaves get stuck in my teeth, and the darkest raisins are too dry.)

2. Put them in the jar.

3. Pour 15 ounces (liquid measure) over the raisins and put on the lid. (I use the wide mouth plastic lids, Walmart again.)

4. Shake it to break up any clumps.

5. Over the next couple of days turn the jar over from time to time as the raisins plump up.

6. After two days of soaking take off the lid to let the alcohol evaporate (I know, I know…)

7. What I do is eat 10-15 a day. I take a spoon and dip them out.

8. I store it in the fridge since I let the alcohol evaporate.

A few notes:

(1) This took several days to give me any relief.

(2) Several months later, I forgot to take them with me on a trip and it took several days before I started feeling the pain.

(3) Obviously, if you have a problem with alcohol this is not for you.

Our Notes:

When we make the gin-raisin remedy, we put the raisins in a wide flat bowl, glass or ceramic, barely cover them with gin, and leave the bowl uncovered so the gin can evaporate. Once there is no liquid in the bottom of the bowl, we put them in a closed container. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Raisins don’t generally go bad. The usual dose is nine raisins a day.

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Barbara

    I consume golden raisins and juniper berries sometimes together and sometimes separately, avoiding the alcohol and the high cost of gin. Don’t know if method is working yet for arthritis pain, but I enjoy the taste of juniper.

  2. Cindy M. Black
    Seattle, WA

    I use the gin-soaked raisins every night before bed. It’s hard to tell just what benefits they bring, as it’s impossible to go back over the same time period without the raisins and compare the difference. But I’m almost 70, have had massively multiple injuries (broken at least 42 bones), and am still skiing, hiking and swimming hard with almost no problems, no pain whatsoever. So I’d say those raisins probably work.

    However, I’m still not sure why it’s supposed to be 9 raisins… nobody can eat just nine, they’re too good! I eat around 12-15. Also, various commenters have sworn that cheap gin is just as efficacious as expensive gin, though the story above says the cheap gin won’t work. Well, I use cheap gin. Maybe I’ll try the expensive stuff just once, to see if there’s a difference. Thanks, PP, and cheers.

  3. Susan Heil

    Sounds interesting. I came across another way to help with pain. It’s one (1) cup of raw honey, juice of one (1) lemon and one (1) tablespoon of turmeric. Mix all together and take one (1) teaspoon three (3) times a day. I do at breakfast, lunch and supper. Been using it since June 3, 2017 and I have to say I feel less pain and soreness.

  4. darrell

    I let the bottle of gin raisins rest for at least a month without evaporation. Longer restings are preferred. The resulting liqueur is an exquisite sipping drink all by itself…yum!

  5. darrell

    Correction…I think cheap gin does work if it has botanicals. Monarch gin does have them and it’s about $8/750ml.

  6. Susan
    Albuquerque, NM

    Like most, I laughed and was very skeptical that gin soaked raisins could help with my sore knee. However, I decide to give it a try and test it for myself. I also take 1 Cosamin DS capsule a day. After taking the raisins and the Cosamin daily for months, with no knee pain, I began to take this cure for granted. So, when we took a month long road trip, it was just too inconvenient to continue making the raisins. I did keep taking my one a day Cosamin.

    When I got home, I noticed my knee was giving me that old familiar twinge of pain. Icing it for 20 minutes a day only provided temporary relief. The only difference was NOT taking my raisins each morning. I’m glad to say I restarted taking my gin soaked raisins. After about a week, my knee was significantly better. So, I am now a confirmed believer in this home remedy!

    I keep my golden raisins soaking in Gordon’s gin, in a pint glass jar in the refrigerator. I did try cheaper (synthetic without the juniper berries) gin, and it does not work. Just to help lighten up the taste (not a big gin fan), I add a squirt of lemon juice, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a squeeze of honey to the raisins. Shake well. I spoon out a level teaspoon (approximately 9 raisins) each morning as a part of my breakfast. About 2 days before I run out, I use another pint jar to mix up my next batch, so the raisins have time to absorb the gin and soften up.

    Not bad and it works for my husband and I. His arthritis is a little worse than mine. He found that the raisins, Certo in grape juice, and a Sam-e combination works better for him. Whatever works, right?

  7. Susan
    Urbana, IL

    KISS – Keep It Simple Sweetie
    It’s much faster to simply cover the raisins with the gin using a sealable container. It only takes 24 hours, at most, for the raisins to plump up. Use a spoon to lift out the 9 raisins, letting gin drain back into the container.

    Some of the gin will evaporate each time the container is opened, but there will still be some gin / raisin liquid left by the time the raisins run out. Just add more raisins and more gin to this liquid and wait a day.

    Common sense tells me that this method leaves not enough gin to have an intoxicating effect on the consumer. I put my raisins in an attractive ceramic jar with a clamp seal lid and leave it on my kitchen counter. I have 9 or so most mornings. Haven’t had joint pain in my fingers since I started doing this.

  8. Jane

    When you wrote “Our Notes” you gave a totally different “Method” from the one you gave above it. So which one would you recommend?

    • Terry Graedon

      This is a home remedy–no research. Try both methods and see which one suits you better. Let us know your decision.

  9. alexis jones

    Since I enjoy the taste of gin and drunk raisins, the first method of 15 oz sounds okay, however P Pharm method makes more sense — not as much gin is used, therefore there is more to enjoy with tonic water and lime.

  10. Marcejen

    I use it every night before going to bed. It works. My finger joints were so swollen I was unable to put them in the holes of a bowling ball. After 2 weeks there was such a decrease in their size, that I could bowl. If I stop taking it, the pain and swelling come back within 2 weeks.

  11. Libby
    St. Louis MO

    I use the recipe listed under “Our Notes”. Prior to using the raisins I had injections from a pain doctor every three months. Since using the raisins and doing simple exercises in bed before breakfast I have been pain free. I have not needed injections since starting the raisin remedy over two years ago.

  12. Carol

    I used this method daily for 2 months and got zero benefit, so stopped. What has almost completely stopped the arthritis pain in my hands is a paleo-type diet. No sugar, few grains, low carb, high fat.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.

Your cart

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.