5 Etiquette Tips for Your Next Distillery Gin-Tasting Trip

Gin tasting is a great way to explore the unique flavours and aromas of gin. Whether you’re a gin enthusiast or just want to learn more about the spirit, visiting a distillery for a gin tasting is a fun and educational experience. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of tasting different gins, there are some important etiquette tips to keep in mind before your next distillery visit.

1. Give It a Smell

Before you take that first sip of your gin, don't forget to enjoy the unique scents that it offers. Gin tasting requires more than just your sense of taste; it requires you to use your sense of smell too. Therefore, it is best served in a Copa de Balon glass, also known as a balloon glass, which has a bulbous shape that allows for better air circulation and enables you to pick up on the various notes more easily. Swirl the gin around in the glass first to release the aromas, then bring the glass up to your nose and take a long, gentle breath in. Doing this will enhance your experience and enable you to savour every last drop of your gin.

2. Wet Your Palm with the Gin

After taking a whiff of the gin from the glass, pour a small amount of it onto your hands and rub them together. Then, bring your hands together and inhale the scent that is coming off of them. Doing this may help you to notice different aromas than you did when you first smelled the gin from the glass.

3. Don’t Gulp the Whole Thing Down

Tasting drinks involves taking small sips rather than gulping them down. You should let the drink linger in your mouth for a moment so that you can appreciate the flavour and identify the different components of its taste. Afterwards, take the time to notice any aftertaste the drink may have.

4. Cleanse and Refresh Your Palette

Taking breaks between different gins during a tasting can help clear your taste buds. To further reset your taste, you can sniff coffee beans or drink some cold, weak coffee which should give you the best clean slate to continue tasting.

5. Always Agree to Pairings

After trying the gin straight, it's time to make it more interesting by adding tonic and other garnishes. Now that you've tasted the gin by itself, you know how much tonic to add and which garnishes to choose to best emphasise the flavours of the drink. You can make the drink even better by pairing the garnishes with the gin to bring out some of the best notes. You may find a new favourite gin cocktail to enjoy during your weekends.


Gin tasting is an exciting way to explore different gins, tonics, and garnishes to create your own unique gin cocktails. To get the most out of your tasting experience, take your time to savour each sip, take breaks between different gins, and always agree to pairings. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to distinguish the subtle differences between gins and create your own signature gin cocktail, making the most of the next time you visit a distillery or enjoy gin in the comforts of your home!

Jim and Tonic is a gin distillery offering cocktail bars and a direct-to-consumer online shop to bring stunning drinks to drink lovers and enthusiasts. If you are looking for London dry gin, check out what we offer.

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