With 1920s speakeasy style bars being all the rage in cities across the world, it makes sense that gin is bigger than ever. LEE RENEE PIECE: Miami Cocktail Glass…
Far from previous days when there were two brands on a supermarket shelf with bog standard diet tonic – a G&T can now be a work of art. With an expansive list of garnishes and tonic, for a newcomer, it can be a minefield.
So we drafted in the expertise of professional distiller John, from Locksley Distilling. He tells us that lots of people have joined the gin resurgence and there are so many more gins out there. With 16 years as a taster in the industry, we’re sure he can guide us to the perfect drink.
Hello Locksley Distillery - So to start off, is there a particular method for tasting gin, like there is with wine?
No! There are a lot of companies that have suggested serves for drinkers who aren’t a connoisseur. But taste is subjective and my personal preference is different to yours.
John’s advice for tasting a gin:
- Start neat to get the taste of the gin, don’t dilute it with tonic straight away
- Get a large glass to let the spirit aerate
- Add a few drops of water – it may not sound like much but it really brings out the aromatics in the gin
- Then when you’ve tasted it, add ice or dilute into a long drink with tonic and your garnish.
How on earth are you supposed to know which tonic or garnish goes with which gin?
Fevertree is natural tonic water and is the one you’ll find at big events. It has a lovely flavour that it is not too 'in your face', so goes well with most gins. 1724 is a smaller brand that goes really well with aromatic gins, as it’s lighter and delicate.
When it comes to garnishes, it’s all personal preference again. A curl of pink grapefruit goes well in Sir Robin gin as it’s sweeter than a London dry gin. But there are some wacky garnishes out there!
Inspired? Want to learn more or try different gins? The Gin Festival Tour has over 30 events and lasts throughout the year. The London event has just gone but there are still plenty more to go to – you’ll find the Robin of Locksley Gin team there.
Or head to a specialist bar like The London Gin Club in Soho for a tasting class or your own educational session.
And if you can’t make it to those, John suggests a fun evening at home. Buy 10 gins, 10 tonics and 10 different garnishes and throw a tasting party! It’s a great opportunity to work out what your taste buds like most. And enjoy… in moderation of course.
TOP Gin Glasses with Lemon Slices - cyclonebill on Flickr
All Locksley Images - Locksley Distillery
GinFest York - The Gin Festival
Gin Glass with Rosemary - London Gin Club