How do you drink gin properly?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Drinking gin properly involves a few key rules to enhance your experience and fully appreciate the flavors and nuances of this versatile spirit. As an avid gin enthusiast, I’ve gathered some of the most important guidelines to help you enjoy gin to its fullest potential.

1. Try Gin in Cocktails, Preferably a Martini: Cocktails are a great way to explore the different flavors of gin. A classic gin martini allows the botanicals in the gin to shine, while the dry vermouth adds a subtle complexity. Experiment with different ratios of gin to vermouth to find your perfect balance.

2. Complement and Contrast in Cocktails: When making gin cocktails, it’s important to consider how the other ingredients will interact with the flavors of the gin. Complementing the botanicals with ingredients such as citrus or herbs can enhance the overall profile, while contrasting flavors like bitters or spicy elements can create a more complex and intriguing drink.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Drink Gin Neat: While gin is often enjoyed in cocktails, it can also be sipped neat or on the rocks. This allows you to fully appreciate the individual character of the gin. Take small sips and let the flavors unfold on your palate. You may discover new notes and intricacies that you might not have noticed in a mixed drink.

4. Play with the Temperature: Temperature can greatly influence the taste of gin. Experiment with different serving temperatures to find what suits your preferences. Some gins may be more enjoyable when chilled, while others may benefit from being served at room temperature. Additionally, adding a splash of water to your gin can help open up the flavors and aromas.

5. Try Gin & Tonic or Even Gin & Coke: While gin and tonic is a classic combination, don’t be afraid to experiment with other mixers. A high-quality tonic water with its own unique botanical profile can elevate a gin and tonic. For a twist, you can also try adding a splash of citrus or a flavored soda to your gin for a refreshing and unique twist.

6. Sip Vintage Gins: Once you’ve become more acquainted with gin, consider exploring vintage gins. These are gins that have been aged for an extended period, allowing the flavors to develop and mellow over time. Sipping a vintage gin can be a truly special experience, as you discover the nuances that aging imparts to the spirit.

Drinking gin properly involves trying it in various cocktails, complementing and contrasting flavors, experimenting with temperature, sipping it neat, and exploring vintage gins. By following these rules, you’ll be able to fully appreciate the diverse world of gin and enhance your drinking experience. Cheers!