Generally, there aren’t any rules to drinking. You go out, you buy a drink, and you have a good time. That’s how it usually goes for the average person. However, certain people prefer to take their time appreciating and learning the flavours that different alcoholic beverages can offer.
Gin is one of those spirits with a lot to offer in terms of flavour, aside from the classic London dry gin. However, it can take a few tries before figuring out which method can allow you to appreciate those flavours. Every person has their preferences, after all.
If you’re thinking of experimenting with gin, here are a few tips that can help improve your experience:
#1 Drink It Neat
One of the most basic yet reliable ways to drink gin is to drink it neat. Many brands design their gins to be taken this way after all, and you’ll find you won’t get the pine taste it’s infamous for otherwise.
Many companies have started experimenting with different gin flavours, so you’ll find a lot of bottles that feature hints of cinnamon, cardamom, citrus, or even floral flavour profiles. It’s just a matter of figuring out which one you like the most.
For example, here at Jim and Tonic we’ve created four distinctly different flavours of gin:
- Mediterranean Gin - herbaceous and zesty flavour, made using fresh Italian herbs.
- Rhubarb Gin - fruity and subtly sweet pink gin, made using fresh rhubarb and honey.
- London Dry Gin - traditional, clean and crisp taste, with a unique botanical blend that includes apples and linden blossom.
- Kraft Hopped Grapefruit Gin - bold and citrusy gin, made using grapefruit peel and also floral, citrusy hops used to impart citrus flavours in beer.
#2 Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Flavours
Aside from the traditional dry gin with juniper, coriander, or citrus hints, you shouldn’t be afraid to try out more flavours. One of the best ways to do so is to mix up some cocktails, particularly ones with a more fruity profile.
Check out our Rhubarb pink gin cocktail recipe hub for a range of fruity drinks you can make at home.
Aside from that, you can also try mixing gin in a martini or any neutral drink. This will highlight the botanical tones, and you’ll get a chance to taste the versatile effect gin can have on glass. It’s the perfect way to give your cocktail more nuance by marrying and elevating the different flavours.
#3 Play Around with Temperature
Another thing you can try is to play around with the temperature of your drink. Freezing gin changes its texture, making it thicker and more viscous. As it begins to warm up, the flavour profile slowly starts opening up, leading to a more nuanced drink experience. It’s comparable to the way people often stick vodka in freezers to enable the spirit to unfold.
If you watch our recipe video on how to make the perfect Negroni, our Chief Mixologist Seb explains how the ice and temperature will change the Negoni’s taste as you take your time enjoying it.
#4 Try Some Vintage
Once you’re more familiar with the flavours you prefer in modern gin, you can also dip your hand in some vintage bottles. Doing so will truly bring you to another level of gin-drinking. Cities like Tokyo and Berlin stock thousands of decades-old bottles, and they’re available by the pour.
While gin was never meant for ageing, many people have discovered that doing so gives them an almost first-hand experience of what the flavour profiles were like during the decade they were made. Gin made in the 1930s up to the ‘60s were far more grain-derivative than the bottles available today, and the differences are an excellent prompt for conversation among enthusiasts.
There are many ways to enjoy a bottle of gin and, sometimes, it can take a few tries and experiments to figure out your preference. Some of the ways you can do this are by mixing cocktails at home or drinking gin neat. You can also play around with your drink’s temperature or even try out some vintage bottles.
Jim and Tonic is the perfect place to get your gin tasting set. We’ve got three London Distillery Bar venues, and we sell our products online. A tasting set is a perfect way to start experimenting with gin and figuring out the flavours you prefer, so shop with us today!