Be-ginner's guide to Gin

Wondering what the best gin for beginners may be? Welcome!

We’re glad you’re here with us as you discover how to get started with this unique spirit. And we really mean that – gin is unlike other spirits such as whisky, tequila or vodka in that it can have a strong or overpowering taste to your new-to-gin taste buds. For that reason, before jumping into sipping neat or on the rocks, we recommend starting with the humble gin and tonic, which brings out the best of the botanicals in your gin for your tasting experience. 

ABOUT GIN

So let’s go back to basics here before we go any further. What is gin? At a basic level a gin is a neutral, colourless spirit made from a natural source such as wheat or barley and it’s always flavoured with juniper berries (frequently featured amongst other botanicals whether they be seeds, herbs, flowers or spices but these aren’t necessary for the alcohol to be labelled as “gin”). There are only a few different types of gin although in modern times many distilleries push these boundaries and are harder to categorise than others. The most common types you may see around are: London Dry Gin, Contemporary, Old Tom, Navy Strength, Pink Gin and Barrel-Aged. You may also see mention of gin’s predecessor Jenever – a traditional juniper-flavoured liquor. If you'd like to read more about gin's fascinating history, check out our article here!

Also essential to keep in mind is that just because you loved/disliked one brand of gin doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same way about another. If you think about chocolate or wine, you may dream of sitting down on the couch with one type whereas another you'd prefer never to try again. The same goes for gin because it’s such a varied and complex spirit. The more gins you sample, the more you can identify ingredients you love, and those you prefer to steer clear of.

PREPARING YOUR G&T

So you’re ready to dive into making a gin and tonic (G&T for short). What sort of ratio should you use, or is it more of a taste preference thing? One part gin to three parts tonic water is the general “rule” here at Garden Street to avoid overdiluting the flavours in our featured gins. If the idea of measuring and numbers gets you all flustered, you can easily try our stainless steel jigger which has a handy 30ml/60ml volume on either side making accuracy a breeze. And since you’ll be using 75% tonic water here – quality matters. Check out our pairing recommendations on each gin in the shop, or stock up on tonic here.

GLASSWARE

You can use various glasses to drink your G&T – stemless glasses, tulip gin glasses, highball or rocks glasses all work. If you don’t have any stemmed gin glasses, a large wine glass will work in a pinch! Whatever vessel you choose, be sure to fill it up with plenty of ice to rapidly cool your gin without over diluting it. Up your gin game with our speciality glassware, fit for any occasion and spoiling yourself or impressing guests!

TO WRAP THIS UP...

If you discover many gins just aren’t working for you, don’t be discouraged; there are also flavoured gins! These have standard gin botanicals (i.e. juniper), but they are infused or flavoured such as popular elderflower, blood orange or berry varieties to get your taste buds tingling. 

The takeaway here is that gin is about as varied as a chameleon (but tastier), so you’re sure to find one you love by simply having some fun and exploring the varieties available, and the best way is to join our craft gin club where we hand-pick new and exciting Australian gins for you to discover every month

Sign up to the Garden Street Gin Club today!

Sign up to the club today for a complete curated distillery experience at home.

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