World Gin Day is finally upon us, it feels like a whole year since we celebrated last! As bartenders, today is the perfect day to give your guests the chance to try something different, whether they’re new to gin or a seasoned drinker, there are plenty of ways to introduce them to something new today.
World Gin Day for those new to Gin
Gin is a very approachable spirit, with very light flavours in certain gins that add complexity without being intimidating. As ubiquitous as the Gin and Tonic is, and as great as the drink can be, the bitterness of tonic is probably responsible for more people thinking they dislike gin than the spirit itself. So as we’re not relying on tonic water’s quinine to protect us from malaria in most of the world, what can we mix our gin with to make an easier drink for our guests?
The Tom Collins is a classic drink with a summer feel that lets the gin shine through a balance of sweet and sour from lemon and simple syrup, lengthened with soda water. In essence, this is a lengthened sour, but its super refreshing and perfect while sitting in the sun.
Created by the late, great Dick Bradsell, the Bramble takes the balance of sweet and sour citrus and adds a touch of blackberry creme de mure served short over crushed ice. It’s a true modern classic which is closely related to the Gin Fix. The berry flavours work well with the prominent juniper in the vast majority of gin brands.
For Seasoned Gin Drinkers
For those already more comfortable with gin’s style, some more adventurous drinks that feature its flavours more prominently are great and can show off the distinct styles that different gins offer. These gins are perfect in a drink like the Martini, or anything else that showcases the gin’s style without modifying the flavours too far.
Produced by William Grant & Sons in Scotland, Hendrick’s uses Bulgarian Rose and Cucumber to add new flavours to the usual juniper infusion. Its black looking bottle is actually dark blue and reminiscent of an apothecary’s medicine bottle. Marketing for Hendrick’s has centred around its unusual flavour and it’s a staple of cocktail bars around the world today. Hendrick’s is now becoming almost a standard to see on back bars around the world and well deserved.
Minus 33 Juniper Spirit
Minus 33 is not quite gin, produced in the same way by distilling juniper and other botanicals including elderflower and lavender in neutral spirit, Minus 33 is bottled at 33% ABV to allow the lighter flavours to shine without having to compete with the alcohol burn of a higher proof spirit. Legally in the EU Gin must be a minimum of 37.5% ABV, which is why this spirit is not quite gin.
Burleigh’s Export Strength Gin
Quintessentially British, Burleigh’s Gin features silver birch and dandelion & burdock along with elderberries. The export strength uses the very same botanical recipe, but is bottled at a higher ABV of 47% which completely changes the profile, providing a robust gin perfectly suited to a Martini or Negroni cocktail.
Whatever you’re drinking or serving this World Gin Day, enjoy it!