With its complexities and refined characteristics, Gin embodies the sophistication of the British gentleman.
If you’re planning a trip to the UK, make sure to learn how to taste and appreciate gin as an alcoholic beverage to get the most out of your trip.
Gin is also a good gift idea to bring back from your trip to the UK — it’s great to savour the rich British culture on your own or with a company, and there are many gin shops online from which you can order a bottle or two. However, your experience will boil down to your knowledge of this alcoholic drink.
So brace yourself, we’re about to share the must-know advice on how to properly appreciate your gin!
A Brief History of Gin in the UK
Gin has a rich heritage intertwined with the British culture. It gained popularity in the 18th century during the Gin Craze — a period marked by an exponential rise in gin consumption. It became the drink of choice for Londoners.
However, it also led to social issues, as gin was often associated with the darker side of urban life.
In response, the government introduced various regulations to combat its excessive consumption, which, for good or bad made the gin-drinking culture grow even stronger. This history shaped the modern perception and appreciation of gin in the UK.
Two Key Facts About Gin
Before you embark on your gin-tasting journey, here are two important facts to know about this beloved spirit:
- Crafting Gin – The process of making gin begins with a neutral spirit, typically distilled from grains like wheat or barley. It’s then combined with water and infused with juniper berries, which is what lends gin its distinctive flavour. From there, you can create different gin styles by infusing herbs, botanicals, spices, and citrus.
- Exploring Gin Styles – Some of the more versatile gin styles available in the UK include London Dry Gin, Navy Strength, and Geneve.
How To Savour & Appreciate Gin
There are many ways to properly enjoy a good UK gin. The most common include:
The ultimate way to appreciate a high-quality gin is by consuming it on its own. This makes all the different flavours pop up. Enjoy it straight up from the fridge, with a few ice cubes and a dash of lime, which will allow the spirit’s intricate flavors to take center stage in your gin-tasting experience.
If you’re more of a fan of a sophisticated approach to savoring gin, James Bond style, you should enjoy a nicely made dry gin martini in some of the local UK pubs. Most of them serve this drink readily, and these martinis typically include different vermouths, citrus, brine, and olives to enrich an already luxurious experience.
Gin & Tonic
For a timeless experience, make sure to taste the simple combo of gin and tonic which has a long history rooted in the 16th century. Back then, gin was often prescribed for medicinal purposes and the locals made the discovery that it combines well with tonic water, a blend of water, sugar, and quinine. This gives the concoction its distinctive bitter taste appreciated by all lovers of the alcoholic beverage. To elevate your Gin & Tonic game, garnish it with a squeeze of lime and serve it on the rocks.
Expand Your Gin Experience
Tasting gin on its own or in classic combinations is a must.
However, those of you with a more adventurous spirit should consider exploring gin-based cocktails such as the Negroni, Tom Collins, or Ramos Gin Fizz.
Additionally, some gin fans appreciate gin flights, which allow you to sample various styles and brands of gin side by side.
When visiting the UK, immersing yourself in the authentic British drinking culture involves experiencing gin in all its glory.
Whether you visit a local pub or a renowned distillery, you’ll find a wide selection of gins awaiting your discovery. If you end up tasting the better options from our list, you’ll surely want to get yourself a bottle or two back to your home country — this is one of the best ways to immerse yourself back to the British culture and enjoy a good, refreshing cuppa.