Gin is possibly one of the most controversial liquors. They say it’s one of those drinks you either love or hate, owed largely to strong botanicals in it. However, it is worth noting that while Gin uses juniper as its forward facing flavor (think that pine tree scent and flavor) there are dozens of other botanicals companies can use to distinguish their brand. Cucumber, rose, lemongrass, and black pepper just scratch the surface of what you might find in a good gin.
The changes in flavor can make mixing this liquor into the perfect cocktail tricky, but never fear! There are actually more classic cocktails made with gin than with any other spirit, so you know there are plenty of award-winning combos. Here’s how to get it right!
Gin really isn’t for drinking straight. If you open up a bottle of gin and try a sip, don’t be alarmed if you don’t like it right away. Forgive us for the comparison but gin is a little like ketchup. No one really drinks it by itself, but paired with something, or mixed into something, and it can be great! Take a look at the ingredients used in your gin to get an idea of what to go with. A particularly floral gin will lend itself to sweeter cocktails, while a dry gin will make you the perfect martini.
Gin is actually a flavored neutral spirit. If you’re wondering what makes the base of gin, it’s actually traditionally vodka, however other neutral spirits can be used. The same basic principles you use for flavoring vodka apply to gin. However, the botanicals (herbs and spices) used are always natural, and must include juniper. Because of this, you might try subbing the gin for vodka in your DIY Cocktails if you find there is someone at your party that really doesn’t like gin.
Gin is deceptive! A little really goes a long way with this liquor. If you think a recipe doesn’t have enough gin, chances are it does. Try the finished thing before adding more and ending up with an overly medicinal tasting beverage.
Gin Cocktail Recipes
Gin and Tonic
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