The COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been experiencing since last year was scary and challenging, but if anything, it’s taught us how to be creative and make the most of what we’ve got. Adopting this kind of strategy helps us stay afloat and curb the daily stresses life throws at us.
Take gin tasting events for example – regardless of where you are on the gin tasting journey, whether you’re an avid gin lover, or just a beginner, as of 2020 you weren’t able to have that enjoyment outside, what with all the pubs and bars closed. So, what do you do when life gives you lemons?
Make garnish for your gin and tonic and throw your own gin tasting event at home! You can do so on your own, with your family, or even invite friends over zoom calls and create your artisan gin club. And it’s really easy: all you’d have to do is acquire gin and tonic tasting selection packs that you can mix, sip, toast and drink.
Wondering about the benefits? The best thing about these packs is they’re available in various sizes, so some are basic kits consisting of four samples, whereas bigger ones consist of up to 12 different bottles. And, if you’re going to be doing a zoom call, you can surprise the participants with a gift card too, so they can immerse themselves in the popular spirit’s world after the event. Or, taking the ideas of the beer gift basket, how about you prepare a nice gin basket?
The minute you open up your pack, you’d be able to learn about the incredible Australian craft gins, which are all the rage right now, as well as the people who create them and their distilleries. Now that I’ve got your attention, same as with throwing the perfect BBQ party, it’s time to do some research, shopping, and planning. I’ve got some suggestions for you to help you host the best gin-tasting event at home.
Make a List of What You’ll Need
To count on a memorable experience, be prepared with a suitable checklist that you’d share with all the other participants. This refers to unique gin tasting sets, their tasting notes and serving suggestions, followed by the ice supply, the perfect glassware, the palate-cleansing options, and the tasting score sheets.
Gin Tasting Sets, Tasting Notes and Serving Suggestions
When making your selection of gins, it’s advisable you add the tasting notes and serving suggestions along with them upon sharing with the other club members. This way you’d make for a complete experience, and prepare them for what they can expect out of each bottle. Not to mention, they’d have the chance to acquire the needed supplies they’d later serve the gin with in their own homes before the zoom call begins.
If you prefer beginning with something fruity, a pack of gin and tonic tasting selection full of fruity picks would do. Notes of raspberry, sloe berries, grapefruit, juniper, sweet orange, and pepper berry, plus underlying spice, are only some of the unique options of craft gins Australian distilleries produce, so you’re in for a treat!
Such delicacies are great when tasted on their own, so my suggestion is to first serve them neat to truly get the sensation of these notes. Then, as you please, add ice, soda, tonic, gin without tonic mixers, and garnish with fruits or edible flowers as per recommendation on the packs by the store.
Some people like their favourite spirit neat, others like to serve with ice – lots of ice. It’s all a matter of taste, and I don’t blame either for preferring it with or without. Just remember, when serving with ice, the glassware has a say in how fast it would melt; more on that in the following paragraph. Moreover, the size of the cubes also plays a role in the melting; for slow melting, and less dilution, get bigger cubes.
There’s a reason why there’s such a vast variety of glassware available for the different gin and tonic tasting selection drinks – they play their part in how your drink tastes, and help stress the scents, and textures, so it’s not merely a matter of style.
If you become serious about this kind of event and club, you should acquire the classic balloon (i.e. Copa de Balon). It’s perfect for G&T, full aroma enjoyment, lots of ice, as well as slow dilution. For gin with non-alcoholic mixers or plenty of soda, the highball glass is a must.
For the classic martini, or cocktails without ice, of course, you need the martini glass. While I’m at it, don’t forget the shakers for the shaker cocktails either. Now, for cocktails without shakers, as well as short and strong drinks, you have the rocks glass as an option. Lastly, the flute glass is perfect for cocktails consisting of wine.
When you’re in between tasting the mini gin bottles from your pack, your palate needs some rest to get ready for the new taste. Therefore, it’s recommended to have something at hand to refresh your mouth with, like mineral water, or plain biscuits. For the sense of smell, you might try smelling coffee beans.
Tasting Score Sheets
To make things interesting, you can create a list of scores and rate every spirit you try out by marking the smell, taste, and after-taste.