World Gin Day on the 2nd Saturday in June is one of our favourite annual diary dates – and while we don’t need an excuse or time of year to sip gorgeous gins, it does make us reflect on all the great things this saucy little spirit has to offer. We thought we’d reflect on what we’ve learnt about Gin and share our tips on how to host the perfect gin event!
While too many rules can get in the way of having fun, there are a few key things you might want to do to ensure it’s the perfect gin tasting soiree.
1. Keep it simple
We’ve all been there – strolling down the spirits aisle admiring all the different flavours and styles of gin. From rhubarb gins and sloe gins, to classics like London Dry and Plymouth, we’d forgive you if you ordered a trolley load. But in truth, less really is more.
Keep the number of gins on offer at your gin tasting party short, it prevents your palate and nose from being overwhelmed. Aim for around four or five craft gins, and take it from there. For all things gin, we love Craft Gin Club, who’ll keep you up to date with some of the finest craft gins on the market.
2. Variety is the spice in life
As the old adage goes, variety is the spice of life. And when it comes to gin tasting, this has never been truer. Celebrate the differences each gin type has to offer, and feature a few key gin styles.
A London Dry style gin – despite the name, this gin doesn’t actually come from the capital. For a gin to be able to call itself a London Dry gin, it has to be a completely neutral spirit of 96% alcoholic volume. This type of gin is particularly versatile, working well in shaken and stirred cocktails.
Navy Strength gin – this is a London Dry gin that’s over proof, and definitely warms the cockles. It’s a powerful spirit that packs a punch at around 57% ABV, whereas London Dry gin peaks at approximately 45%.
A Plymouth gin – mellower than its London cousin, this gin has a higher proportion of root ingredients, giving it a more ‘earthy’ feel with a softer juniper flavour. Technically, Plymouth Gin is a brand of gin, which by law can only be produced in Plymouth.
A New World gin – offers a slightly sweeter and more floral taste than the London Dry style gin, New World gins ten to be heavier on botanicals and lighter on the palate.
3. Taste and appreciate
Gin works beautifully in cocktails, with tonics and mixers. But at a true gin tasting night, the trick is to first taste it with just a block of ice.
To taste neat, swirl the gin around the glass with 1 of our Super Cubes. Take a gentle sniff and a small sip, swirling it around your mouth before swallowing. Add some tonic and taste again, and then add the garnish. You’ll then be able to truly appreciate what the garnish is bringing to the table.
4. Choose a suitable gin glass
Aside from bespoke glasses like the martini, a balloon glass AKA a copa glass, tends to be a great all-rounder for gin tasting events. These glasses offer enough room for the gin, ice, tonic and garnishes – and can be used for cocktails too.
When you’re doing your initial gin tastings, we’d recommend using a rocks glass, which is a short, broad vessel with a heavy base. The gin will be closer to your nose, which works beautifully for more delicate gins.
5. Have cocktail ingredients to hand
When you’ve got the serious stuff out the way, the cocktail fun can begin! Just make sure you’ve got enough mixers, syrups, tonics, ice cubes and garnishes to hand. We love a dry gin mixed with a Fever Tree Tonic over two to three Super Cubes.
6. Choose the perfect ICE
Super Cubes are 3 times the size of standard ice. Their large surface area means they melt slowly but cool quickly, meaning no more watery G&T’s! Available to buy from large Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Morrisons stores and online. Along with online at Ocado.
Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what the experts had to say. Check out their reviews and if they really are worth the hype!
We’d love to hear your plans or get your gin tasting tips! Let us know by messaging us on Instagram.