If you're a beer, wine or spirits drinker, but haven't discovered gin, these gin suggestions for non-gin drinkers are a simple guide to get you started.
Beer, wine and spirits; fermented and distilled drinks - alcoholic beverages come in a myriad of weird and wonderful forms.
As the name might suggest, our preferred drink here at Gin Festival, is that fine, juniper infused spirit - Gin. However, if you, or somebody you know, is a fan of high quality drinks but always stays shy of gin, we have a solution. it’s a simple guide for converting preferred drinks to their gin equivalent.
Whisky is often viewed as the King of Spirits. It’s got the heritage and the style. The history, and rather importantly, the careful aging.
If whisky is your go-to drink, we understand that your looking at gin a little cautiously, not quite dismissively but certainly wondering if a spirit that’s been made and almost instantly bottled can be enough for you.
Trust us, it can.
Ease yourself in gently. Take some recognisable processes and go for a barrel-aged gin or a gin that's been infused with oak. You'll get the same woody aromas but with the juniper cutting through. Another approach would be to try something made with botanicals from the Scottish Highlands, it won't be whisky but it will evoke many of the same locations and aromas as a fine Scotch. Something with a malt base may also suit.
You’ll pick up on all of the delicate beauty of these gins whilst safe and secure in the warmth of malt or the familiarity of oak.
Rum has somewhat of a reputation for being light-hearted, fun and friendly but for those in the know, it’s a serious business. Think about a fine Angostura rum, aged for 15 years, a healthy splash over ice - you’re in heaven. You wouldn’t dream of adding cream and pineapple.
Gin has its equivalents, maybe not 15-year-old equivalents but give us a little more time, and we’ll be there.
If you’re giving gin a chance, then start with a gin made with the same sugar cane base as most, traditional rums. Sometimes they’re aged, sometimes they’re not, but they maintain that sweet, well-rounded nature that you’re fond of.
Sure, these aren’t the most traditional gins but no industry can or should remain stagnant and the combining of two, great heritages creates spirits out there that touch points that no others do.
Suggestions: Dictador Colombian Aged, Wray and Nephew Old Tom, Downslope Ould Tom Gin
You’re a fan of the craft movement. You love what it’s brought to beer, to drinks in general, but gin itself has never appealed to you. Too perfumed, lacking in body and staying power for you.
Some gins are incredibly aromatic, there’s no denying that - yet all gins cannot be judged upon the profile of the few. Gin and the various styles of it are almost as varied as the plethora of beers that exist.
If in a moment of confusion or slight existential angst you decide to drink a gin or two, we have a few recommendations: gins made by brewers, gins that make use of a beer wash during distillation and gins that use hops as a key botanical.
Sure, they’re all spirits and not beers, they’re neither brewed nor fermented but they do make use of many of the same flavour profiles, and coming from those who understand beer - well something has to carry over.
At first glance, wine is about as far as you can get, in booze, from spirits as possible. It’s fermented fruit vs distilled herbs.
That said, gin is a beautiful, multifaceted thing. If you want fruity with noticeable body, easy drinking, well suited to early evenings, late nights and good food - then we have the gins for you.
Gin is no longer just a piney, aromatised spirit, it’s contemporary format is much more open than is commonly thought. It can be long and easy drinking or full-bodied and rich, bordering on aperitif all by itself.
Some gins have grape bases which can provide some of the fruity body you're used to. Others make heavy use of pears, peaches and plums in the production process which evoke many of the same flavours as a great white wine. Still others use innovative mixes of botanicals that stay away from spiced flavours and are as crisp, light and refreshing as a chenin blanc.
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