Best ways to drink gin: a guide to enjoying gin
In this article, you will find different ways to drink, mix and make gin. Gin is a now a worldwide favourite drink and it has definitely shed its dowdy image and the title ‘mothers ruin’. It is trendy so people can be seen drinking it everywhere – in pubs, gin bars, clubs, at parties and at home – even people who once claimed not to like it. Traditional, craft or cocktail? Tall glass, short glass, stemmed glass? How are you enjoying yours? So, if you’re wondering what are the best ways to drink gin? Read on…
A brief history of gin & tonic
In the 16th century, the Dutch began producing a spirit called genever which is basically a malt wine with added juniper berries to disguise its unpalatable taster. It was created for ‘medicinal’ purposes. Over time the name became abbreviated to gen and gradually the pronunciation was modified to gin. Did you know at one point a pint of gin was cheaper than a pint of beer (if only it still was – sigh), in a period known as the gin craze.
Tonic water used to be infused with quinine – an extract from the cinchona tree (known as the ‘fever tree’ because when ingested in a drink, its bark could ease fevers and chills) – and was used as a cure and protect against malaria. The addition of gin, sugar, ice, and lime became the preferred method of masking the bitterness of the quinine so the gin and tonic were born… and now I know the reason behind the name of a well-known tonic water brand.
Is the glass important?
Do you drink gin & tonic from a tall straight glass? Tut tut, it’s time you changed that bad habit. Gin has wonderful aromas and flavours so don’t overshadow them by sipping from any old glass.
The Copa de Balon glass
One of the best ways to drink gin is in a Copa de Balon. With its balloon-shaped design, it is purported to capture the aromas of gin and so give the drink an enhanced flavour. The large bowl allows room for oodles of ice (this is essential) and a large wedge of lime, both of which add to the taste and keep the drink perfectly cool. The shape is designed to stop the ice cubes from melting too quickly and diluting the drink. An added bonus – having a stem means you don’t end up with frostbite!
There are many designs of Copa de Balon to choose from. Here are some of my favourites – just click on any image for more details.
Elegance: I love a clear, unpatterned glass. Described by one reviewer as ‘stunning’ and ‘elegant’, a gin & tonic in one of these large crystal glasses looks irresistible, doesn’t it? Click the image for more information (opens in a new tab)
Bombay Sapphire: If this is your favourite gin then it’s bound to taste more exquisite in one of these glasses. They have great reviews with customers describing them as ‘excellent’ and ‘fine quality’. Click the image for more information (opens in a new tab)
Decorated: these stylish Dartington crystal glasses have a hand cut design and are finished with real Swarowski crystals. Beautiful. Click the image for more information (opens in a new tab)
Designer: with a splash of colour and fizzy bubble effect at the base of each glass, every one of these hand-made glasses is unique. Click the image for more information (opens in a new tab)
Books about Gin – from mixing cocktails to how to make your own
Gin – The Manual
As a gin lover, Gin: The Manual caught my eye. This is a book about how to drink gin and discover ways in which to enjoy it that you will find you never thought possible. Inside you will discover how gin is made; what botanicals are and how they add to a gin’s flavour, the differences between Dutch, London, Scottish, Spanish and American gins; how to maximise the pleasure of drinking gin and whether there is life beyond the gin & tonic. Click the image to discover more (opens in a new tab)
Gin – Shake, Muddle, Stir
Do you consider yourself to be ‘a serious spirit lover’ or would you like to know how to impress all your gin-loving friends at your next party? (Who knows, you may even be able to convert some non-gin drinkers). With over 50 recipes, this just might be the book for you. The recipes include easy things to make with three ingredients, punches, aperitifs, teas, martinis and more, so with this book in your hand, you could become an expert in no time at all. Click on the image for more details (opens in a new tab)
There’s nothing nicer than a gin-based cockton hot hot summer’s day. As a family, we spend every summer in Spain so this book of 40 recipes for Spanish-style gin and tonic cocktails makes me look forward to our next trip.
Perfect kits for gin lovers
Make your own gin
Another one of the greatest ways to drink gin is by making your own or modifying the flavour of a shop-bought gin.
Apart from a bottle of gin, a book all about gin or gin cocktail recipes, what else can you buy the gin drinkers in your life? This inexpensive kit allows you to make your own gin at home without the need for a distillery so is an ideal, no fuss gift. Click the pic for more info (opens in a new tab)
I think think strawberry gin sounds rather tasty so this little kit caught my eye. It is great value for money and, for those without oodles of patience, your gin is ready after just 3 days… click the image to reveal more (opens in new tab)
A perfect gift for gin and tonic lovers is a set of cocktail botanicals and spices. This one includes vanilla pods, pink pepper, Ceylon cinnamon quilling, cardamom, juniper berries, ginger and star anise. Click the image for more information (opens in a new tab)
Did you know you can make your own inexpensive ‘craft gin’ from your regular gin by adding a pouch filled with aromatic herbs, fruits, and spices to a measure and allowing it to infuse for a few minutes. Tip: you could probably use a fairly cheap gin with this as you are going to add flavours. The following set is very affordable and would be great to take along to a gin party. For more info, click on the pic (opens in a new tab)
So as you can see ‘the best ways to drink gin’ shows there is so much more to gin than tonic. Enjoy experimenting with it and, err, use the right glass!
Bye for now. Thank you for reading the best ways to drink gin!