Learning how to taste gin is exciting and you need to focus on the senses just as you would with whisky or wine.
The main ingredient of gin is juniper. However, the art of a good gin is what else you add and how you balance the flavours. Look out for cucumber, rose, lavender, cinnamon and black pepper just as an example. No two gins are alike and this is what is so very exciting for the gin enthusiast.
Follow our gin tasting tips below.
1. Clean your palette
First things first: do not to eat strong flavoured foods before gin tasting. To reset your taste buds ginclub.co recommends black, weak and cold coffee.
2. Class in a glass
According to ginclub.co the glass to use is either a tulip shaped copita glass, or a Glencairn nosing and tasting glass. “The shape of these glasses ensures that the aroma of the gin you are tasting is concentrated up into the thinnest curve of the glass, allowing you to really explore the aroma of the gin.”
3. Take a good look
Examine the gin in your glass; hold it into light and look at the colour. “The botanicals will impart colour as well as flavour,” says GinMonger. Three easy things to remember: light gold colour – it’s barrel aged gin, nice blue – Iris is one of the botanicals used, light pink – there’s a touch of Hibiscus flower.
4. Swirl and sniff
“With at least 75% of flavour down to our sense of smell, we need to work on aroma recognition to make sure we enjoy our gin to the full,” advises the Gin Club Scotland. So, smell it from a little distance and with delicacy. Breathe in with your mouth slightly open and try to imagine the aromas.
5. Have a sip
It’s finally time to taste! Take a sip – not a large swallow, let it sit on your tongue and analyse the flavours. If you’ve done your sniffing homework, you can now compare what you taste with what you sniffed. Juniper will sing out as the strongest flavour, however take time to notice the other flavours coming through as well.
6. Taste it again
Now, it’s time to taste the same gin once again, this time add a little bit of water to dilute the gin and dull the sharpness of the alcohol. “Adding water will takes the sharp edge off the alcohol and reveals the layers of botanicals and flavours in your gin,” says ginclub.co. Whilst some gins are more complex and have more to offer, any truly great gin should leave you with a clean and pleasurable sensation.
With all these tasting tips in mind, the next step is to head to a well-stocked gin bar and put your taste buds to the test!
Visit the Gin Garden at the New Ellington Leeds from (DATE) every Ginsday – Tuesdays and Thursdays – and you can enjoy 15% off the bar’s entire range of over 100 gins. Resident gin connoisseur Andy Preston is also on hand to share his expertise and help you discover your perfect G&T mix. For more information visit: http://www.thenewellington.com/gin-garden