Food & Drink

What Is Gin Tasting?

The love for gin is a sign of relaxation and enjoyment. Gin’s versatility and affordability have made it very popular. The drink was initially introduced in Holland and consumed for its anti-inflammatory properties, and the Dutch adjusted the taste and made it more pleasant on the palate. Soon distilleries started becoming creative and added botanical ingredients to give a twist to the taste. The botanicals can turn the standard cocktail into something special. Each distillery has its unique factor, and all of them are different. The process of gin tasting is done to break the ice in a gathering and expands a person’s tasting horizons.

The essential ingredient in gin is juniper. Juniper berries are bitter in taste, have medicinal properties and remedy indigestion. They give a sharp and woody flavour to gin. Gin is made by distilling neutral alcohol with juniper berries and has a predominant flavour of juniper berries. It should contain at least 37.5% of pure alcohol. Gin is mixed with tonic water, which is carbonated water, with a dash of quinine.

How to taste the gin

The glass used to taste gin must have enough room for swirling, and it should have enough space for gin, tonic, and ice. The gin is sniffed and tasted at room temperature, and the drink is tasted by sipping it slowly and rolling it around the mouth. A well-distilled gin tastes neat, with the warmth felt in the chest. Tasting is done with an array of gins with different botanicals. It is an excellent way to understand various gin flavours, identify them, enjoy them and mix them.

Things to be noted while tasting gin

Appearance

The colour and the appearance of gin is crucial because it should be clear and water white, and a dull colour indicates that the gin may be faulty. Sometimes unfiltered gin appears hazy when water is added.

Smell

While sniffing gin, it is not necessary to swirl the glass vigorously. Swirling too much will release a lot of alcohol, and it may give an unpleasant smell. Gin must have the distinct aroma of juniper along with the smell of the botanicals added to it. Some people add a drop of water to the glass before sniffing to release the aromas and soften the alcohol.

Taste

The gin is sipped to coat the mouth, and the flavour and intensity should be similar in smell and taste. Most gins are dry, warm, smooth and mouth-coating, and it is not a good sign if the gin burns the tongue or feels coarse.

The primary drivers of flavour in gin

Juniper: Juniper berries are the chief ingredient, and they give a characterful and refreshing quality.

Coriander seeds: The second most used botanical in gin is coriander seeds, and it adds a spicy and slightly citrusy note to the drink.

Angelica root: It adds a musky, earthy aroma that reminds the woods. The herbaceous flavour forms the base agent in gin.

Citrus peels: Citrus peels add a zesty complexity and complement the other botanicals in the gin.

Cassia bark: It is similar to cinnamon but highly sweeter with hints of liquorice.

Liquorice: Liquorice gives the dense texture and a sugary and earthy taste to gin to balance the bitterness of juniper.

Gin tasting events are open to personal interpretations based on target audiences or preferences of the host. It is a cool activity everyone enjoys at a gathering with family and friends.

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