I've loved gin for a good few years now and it is definitely one of, if not my favourite, drink to have whenever I'm out or just at home relaxing.
When I realised I quite liked gin, I realised that it was the tonic - Scheweppes Indian Tonic Water - that I didn't like and was *probably* the reason for me not starting to drink gin earlier in life!
Thankfully I've now come a long way since those early days and much prefer my gin with a Fever Tree Tonic! It really is the superior tonic to pair with your gin and whenever I order a gin, I ensure that they have Fever Tree tonic beforehand.
Gin really is the ultimate drink to have after a hard day's work, as a celebration, as an aperitif before dinner or just to relax with on the weekend or your time off work.
It's definitely had somesort of a revolution in recent years and is now the nation's most popular spirit, with over a quarter of the population purchasing in the last 2 months, up from just over 10% four years ago.
The Popularisation of Gin
Bombay Sapphire has a lot to do with the popularisation of gin, it established the notion that there was something to 'trade up to' in gin.
The subsequent arrival of Hendricks with its distinctive flavour, serve and positioning and engaging marketing activity bringing the brand to life added to the interest in premium gin alongside renewed investment in what had been fairly dormant like Beefeater and Plymouth.
The impact of quality mixer shouldn’t be underestimated. This has put gin in a new category and makes it suitable for lots of different occasions.
‘A quality product, with quality mixers and theatre around the serve makes for a more interesting, exciting, acceptable, and suitable for different drinking occasions’
Data also shows that we drink gin on the same occasions as we would drink wine- for example, with food.
So, you can see from this that we're taking gin more seriously now and also not drinking it solely before food then switching to something different.
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How is gin made?
3 methods of Gin Distillation:
This involves mixing ethanol with botanicals in a pot, keeping it over a heat source the whole time.
The botanicals will steep in base spirit and may be removed after 48 hours.
Made in a Carter-head still, equipped with a suspended basket. The basket contains botanicals and hangs over the surface of base spirit.
When the spirit is heated in the still, ethanol vapours rise into the botanical basket.
This will allow the botanicals to release essential oils into the vapours, which then re-liquify, carrying the botanical flavours with them.
Known as cold distillation, this distillation technique requires a low-pressure vacuum environment, which significantly reduces ethanol’s boiling point.
Proponents of this method claim that without extreme heat, the flavours from the botanicals remain intact.
The importance of juniper
However it is made, there is one key ingredient without which the alcohol cannot be called gin: Juniper!
You wouldn't be able to call a drink "wine" unless it contained grapes, and the same goes for juniper and gin.
These berries give gin its distinctive taste, and they are even required by law to be the core botanical ingredient in gin!
Do you like gin? Tell me your favourite types of gin drinks to enjoy this International Gin and Tonic Day!
Love, Sarah xoxoxo