We all love gin! Whether it’s on the rocks, with tonic or even in a cocktail, gin is a staple in most people’s drinks cabinet. According to WSTA, over 66 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK in 12 months! That’s a lot of UK gin lovers!
As gin lovers, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to tonics and garnishes and if we ever find ourselves stuck for ideas, Pinterest saves the day with all sorts of creative gin complements. Yes, we have seen the frozen asparagus recipes.
If asparagus is not really your thing, and I’m sure you’re not alone in that, we’ve compiled a list of things you need to consider when choosing the perfect garnishes for your gin of choice. Trust us, we know you’re going to love this.
First of all, you need to know what is in your gin to know what to garnish it with. If your gin has notes of chocolate and treacle in it, then a lemon wedge just isn’t going to compliment the drink.
If you’ve ever been to a coffee or wine tasting, the same rules apply to gin garnishing. This also means that you are allowed to feel just as cultured when selecting your garnishes of choice!
Think of it like this. When choosing your garnish, you want to find something that will pair well with the gin rather than something that just matches the flavour. Just like you wouldn’t pair wine with grapes, you shouldn’t pair your lemon drizzle gin with a lemon drizzle sweet or lemon wedge. You won’t taste the botanicals and everything will taste a bit too similar. Instead, for your lemon gin, why not try basil, mint or thyme.
When finding a complementing garnish flavour, the general rules are these:
- For sweet or spiced gins, zesty orange peel complements the spiced botanicals such as clove and cassia.
- Citrusy Gins, as we’ve discussed earlier, balance well with earthy or herbaceous garnishes.
- Floral Gins work well with spice. So now is the time to recreate that Pinterest image with pink or black peppercorns, included in our Gin Making Kits. You can even go classic with these gins and garnish them with softer flavours like berries.
If you’re still stuck for pairings, we’ve found a great source for you that is sure to help you impress your friends with your flavour knowledge.
Don’t over complicate things
As much as you might want to impress your friends, or even yourself, try not to overcomplicate things. We’re not trying to make a meal out of our gins, we’re just simply trying to bring out its notes.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to ruin a good bottle of gin with too many peppercorns.
We want a happy balance between having an aesthetically pleasing gin and beautifully tasting tiple. We want it to look like we’ve taken it from a Pinterest board without it tasting like asparagus soup and we definitely don’t want to recreate the wrapping scene from ‘Love Actually’.
Ideally, you’ll want to use no more than two additions. In all honesty, with the prep that has to go into some of these flourishes, any more than two garnishes and you’ll only be waiting longer to drink your gin.
We recommend that you choose one garnish for colour and one that matches the main flavour while sticking to the advice from our previous point.
Find your inner bartender
We’ve all seen the bartenders show off with their twisting, clapping and squeezing, but there is a point to all of this bar flare. Don’t worry, we can assure you that we’re not just trying to make you feel silly, dancing around your kitchen. These actions actually bring out the flavours and scents of the garnishes and will make you feel like a professional in your own home. Here’s what they do and when to use them:
This is for your citrus garnishes. We’ve all seen the perfectly twirled slice of orange peel in our drinks and probably thought it’s just for display purposes but there is a point to it. By twisting the lemon or orange peels over the drink and rubbing it around the rim of the glass, you are releasing the oils of the fruits, resulting in a more flavoursome drink.
This is probably something that you already do but when garnishing your gin with a lime or lemon wedge, you need to give it a good squeeze first. If you don’t, the only real purpose for the wedge is a slightly warmer, colourful ice cube that doesn’t melt and hits you in the face while you’re trying to drink.
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your mint (and other herbs).
By clapping your herbs, you’re gently bruising them, which releases the aroma and gives them much more flavour. While a minty drink is refreshing on its own, we guarantee that if you start doing this, you won’t be able to go back to simply plonking it in the glass. It also gives you another opportunity to look like you know what you’re doing and impress your friends.
If you want to really impress them, we recommend you put them in our beautifully handcrafted Gin Glasses.
We guarantee that you’ll be the host with the most if you start using these tips. If fruity gins are your thing and you don’t know which ones to add to your beautifully garnished glass, we have a blog on the ‘Best Fruity Gins On The Market’.