Gin – how much do I love gin? If you follow me on twitter you’ll probably know the answer to this question.
I like gin very much. Very much indeed. In the last few years I’ve been quietly playing my part in driving it’s renewed popularity. I have 27 different gins at home (at last count) and 11 separate distilled botanicals so I can play around with my own blends. I would dearly love a still and when I retire plan on making my own gin, in my shed. One day I’ll have to buy a place with a shed I guess.
I can barely walk past a new gin in the bottle shop (or online, or crowdfunded); if it’s a London Dry style I can’t walk past, I buy it. My neighbour fed my cats recently while I was away and almost staged an intervention (gintervention?) she was so worried about my gin addiction. (It’s ok – for some reason I don’t actually manage to drink very much of it :-).
In my club going days we drank gin and tonic. Probably Vickers or Gilbeys with postfix tonic water. I’m not proud, but at least it wasn’t beer or bourbon and coke … right? A night of shuffling to the latest post-punk, new romantic, modish, skank or alternative tunes – look this was Brisbane, we were ALL of the subcultures on different nights of the week – in awful humidity, was fuelled by glow-in-the-dark, lovely gin and tonics.
We thought we were ever-so sophisticated drinking G&T’s on weekends at the coast as the sun went down. And ultra-sophisticated if we remembered to add a slice of lemon.
After quite a few years away I started drinking martini’s about 12 years ago as a pre-dinner drink. I commenced my judgement of the meal at that point. I started to take note of bartenders, of the gins they used, and which ones made lovely martinis. I still remember a stunning dry martini I had a La Luna about 8 years ago and the discussion I had about it with their gin choices and how they liked to serve them.
And just like that, I was hooked. Gin in martinis, negronis and G&T’s is now my favourite tipple. I love learning more about distilling techniques, ingredients and especially how our native botanicals have inspired Australian’s to make some great bloody gin!
So – my favourite all-time gin for a martini? A french brand – Blue Ribbon
My favourite negroni gin? Plymouth Navy Strength.
My favourite G&T gin? Melbourne Gin Co.
My favourite tonic? well it depends on the gin of course!
I think I’ve got about 50 draft blog posts about gin & I think I want to publish some of them.What have I learned from thinking about writing about gin so far? I like varied botanicals. More than 10*. I like a good juniper kick and alcohol content of around 42% for standard gin. This isn’t about getting drunk, it’s about the flavour. I understand that tax rates favour a 40% abv product, but it’s detrimental to the flavour and I look for those that bottle at a higher percentage.
I’ve learned that tonic waters vary widely both in source of quinine and added botanicals. The subtleties, or lack of, affects your G&T more than you might realise. Some overshadow delicate gins, and some fight against the gin botanicals.
A perfect gin and tonic match is worth looking for.
I’ve decided that I am going to compare all the gins I taste to Melbourne Gin Co, and all tonics to Schweppes. I’m going to taste them neat, and as a G&T made 1:2 gin to tonic. It may take me some time, and some friends, to get through the 27 I have to hand, but I’m up for the challenge!
Come along for the ride – tell me your favourite nominations. Lets interact like twitter doesn’t exist! (aka in the comments people!)
*but none of them being lemon myrtle