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Gin is all about the 'Serve'

Posted on 15th Apr 2016 @ 3:30 PM


Gin is all About the Serve

Small batch distilled Gin is currently reviving sales of Gin, creating excitement in the category that has seen a real renaissance in sales. The major brands still count for over 50% of all Gin sales but the hundreds of new Gins that have appeared over the last couple of years are where the fun is.

Each of these new brands comes to market with its own unique story be it the people behind it, the weird and wonderful botanicals or its creation in God’s Own County, but the biggest change is how you serve it or ‘the Serve’.

I recently attended a Gin Conference in one of London’s hipper media joints and learnt all about the different ‘Serves’ producers are inventing to make their Gins stand out. The days of ice and a slice are long gone Masons recommend slices of fresh apple with their Yorkshire Gin, Millers Icelandic Gin recommend slices of fresh strawberries, basil leaves and a twist of cracked black pepper with theirs, Hendricks famously eschew slices of cucumber. Oh and the glass you use has massively changed no longer is a ‘Slim Jim’ good enough you now need a ‘Goldfish Bowl’ on a stem filled with lots of ice to allow all the exotic aromas to rise to your nose as you savour your drink.

Then of course there is the tonic water, as this can be the largest proportion of a G&T it does matter that you chose wisely. The current favourite amongst Gin Cognoscenti is Fevertree which has exploded onto the market in the last couple of years and is noted for its dryness and pronounced Quinine flavour. Now this works well with dry Gins like Bombay Saphire, Fifty Pounds and Aviation but if you have a slightly softer style such as Pickerings Gin or Brockmans then you may want to look to another tonic such as Fentimans or 1724 which are gentler and don’t mask the Gin.

Of the many stories I learnt at the Gin conference my favourite was the origin of Bath Tub Gin apparently during the Prohibition years in America bootleggers turned to making Gin wherever they could because it is relatively quick to produce and unlike whisky or Bourbon doesn’t need long maturing in cask. It turned out one of the easiest vessels to use was a bathtub and if the G men came calling you could simply pull the plug and dispose of the evidence.

Gin is also the base for many a classic cocktail with the most famous and sophisticated being the ‘Dry Martini’, though actually it is best served stirred not shaken despite Mr Bond’s famous insistence. Shaking a Martini can bruise the Gin and release bitter flavours ideally you should gently stir the gin over lots of ice and serve in a cocktail glass either with a peel of fresh lemon skin or two green olives. If you serve it with a silverskin onion it is no longer a Martini but is known as a ‘Gibson’.

However you chose to enjoy your Gin I wish you happy drinking and remember moderation is a good thing when it comes to the hard stuff.