In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

All about the gin

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


4 thoughts on “All about the gin

  • Of course it does!

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Does my tonic syrup count?

    Comment from: Gabriel

  • yeh, nah – they’re talking about twitter as a sales tool. It was never much good at that 🙂 What shall I try first?

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • I’ll be reading avidly, following closely and tasting alongside, where I can. So get started!

    And good time to come back to the blog, since the pundits say Twitter’s dead, or at least doomed.

    Comment from: corinna

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL


Leave a comment

Please do not paste links to websites or your comment will be deleted.