Take a gin expedition this June for World Gin Day and uncover your signature tipple.
World Gin Day, held on June 11 2016 is a celebration of the most distinct spirit, with events, competitions and parties catering to the gin-obsessed across the globe.
At its core the day is really about enjoying gin together and what better way to do this than by hosting a little gin testing and tasting soiree at home. Consider the below your guide on a gin expedition; with suggestions for everyone from gin newbies to those who consider themselves close personal friends with juniper. Who knows, you may even discover your signature gin along the way!
But what about stemless glasses? While stemless wine glasses are increasingly popular, and great for casual gatherings and everyday use, if you are sipping a high quality wine, you should choose a classic stemmed wine glass to prevent the warmth of your hand from affecting the flavour of the wine.
To really take your wine-drinking experience up a notch, bring out the crystal wine glasses. “High-quality crystal glassware provides extra clarity in the glass; it doesn’t distract from the colour of the wine,” explains Ted Rutledge, Senior Sommelier at Aria Restaurant in Sydney.
There’s always room for a martini and a proper martini is gin-based. No other cocktail lets you explore the intricacies of gin quite so much. If you favour your drink with a twist, The West Winds’ The Sabre gin has citrus and spicy coriander notes that are highlighted by a lemon garnish and need barely a whisper of vermouth. If you prefer a floral martini, you must consider Hendrick’s Gin with its English garden bouquet of cooling cucumber and rose petals. This version is a good entrée into the domain of hard cocktails for novices. Don’t forget to add a slice of fresh cucumber. If you are a juniper purist who is always pleased to find an iconic olive (or three) in your elixir, do try Fair Gin. This uses fair trade berries and spices from Uzbekistani and Keralite farmers so that your second martini isn’t the only thing leaving you feeling rather good inside. If it’s always martini time for you, why not make a difference with your drink?
If the heady warmth of a martini is still a little too advanced for your palate, or you simply adore a finely crafted cocktail, there are still plenty of exciting gins to explore. Liven up your traditional G&T by splashing in The West Winds’ The Cutlass Gin. The spiky Australian bush flavours in this gin are benefited by forgoing the clichéd slice of lemon in your G&T for a sliver of crunchy, green cucumber. It’s also a little stronger than most so will stand up to any tonic you throw at it. A long, tall Tom Collins is always a refreshing sight to see. Give this cocktail a colourful twist by stirring in Edgerton’s Original Pink Gin. It has grapefruit to balance out the lemonade sweetness and it will make your Tom Collins blush prettily. Try Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin in your next Gimlet. This smooth, balanced gin possesses the clarity for your concoction of juicy lime, simple syrup and not much else.
If you consider yourself a gin aficionado, the following labels should shake and stir you out of your comfort zone. Fans of Bombay Sapphire should add the new Star of Bombay to their arsenal at home. Bergamot and Ambrette seeds have been added to Bombay’s classic line-up of 10 botanicals for even more complexity. What about venturing into the world of sloe gin? This softer, ruby liqueur is based on sloe berries rather than juniper berries. Try Sipsmith Sloe gin for a delicious start. And for something completely different, Australia’s own Archie Rose distillery is now offering a limited-edition, hand-numbered gin exclusively tailored for Vintage Cellars for World Gin Day. They’ve added notes of cassia bark, orange and Angelica root to all that classic juniper goodness. If you like the sound of it, be quick; only 900 bottles will be released across the nation.
Say cheers to World Gin Day this month (or any month) and experiment with gins you’ve never tried before. And if all else fails, remember the motto; Tanqueray will never lead you astray.