It can be hard to know where to start with gin. There are now so many different gin makers out there that we’re spoiled for choice. But it can be tricky to know where to start.
So, we caught up with Vienna-based real estate expert (and gin aficionado) Avner Motaev, to get his tips.
Avner will tell us his picks for the best gins for non-gin drinkers in a moment. But first, he’s sharing his tips for a perfect gin and tonic.
How to make the perfect gin and tonic
“First of all, don’t scrimp on the gin – and I mean that in every way,” says Avner. “Invest in a good bottle, and don’t be afraid to put a good slug in there (although not too much otherwise it is overpowering – I’d recommend a 50ml measure).
“Pour that over ice – lots of it. A gin and tonic absolutely must be served cold. Throw a couple of wedges of chopped lime in there too and top it up with a good quality tonic water. It should be around two parts tonic to one part gin.”
Avner is a huge gin fan, and gives us a quick bit of background to the drink. We all know the G&T became popular with British in India (thanks to the malaria-beating quinine in the tonic). But Avner also tells us that gin – or a similar Dutch drink called ‘Geneve’ – has been around since the 1200s.
But what about gin today? Where should the new gin drinker start?
“There’s a gin for everyone,” says Avner. “The key is to have fun trying them all out!”
Here’s his pick of some of the best.
Dorothy Parker Gin
Named after the American socialite, this gin is as classy and sophisticated as its namesake. “This gin has a wonderful balance of flavours,” says Avner. “Obviously there is the initial hit of juniper but it also has zesty citrus flavour, along with the spice of coriander and the warmth of cinnamon in there. Perfect with a cold Fever-Tree tonic and a slice of lime over ice.”
We hear a lot about botanicals in gin marketing. Gin is essentially just a white spirit like vodka, but it is the added herbs and spices (or ‘botanicals’) that add the unique flavour.
“This one is packed with all sorts of delicious botanicals from the English countryside,” says Avner. “There’s everything from crab apple to nettle in there. Beautiful.”
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
Ever tried gin neat over ice? If you didn’t like it, the chances are the gin wasn’t up to the job. Neat gin is a great alternative to using a mixer and is the perfect way to let all those unique flavours shine through.
“One of my personal favourites to drink neat is The Botanist Islay Dry Gin,” says Aver “The Scottish island of Islay is more famous for whisky but they have created a wonderful gin too, infused with 31 different botanicals. Too good to smother with tonic.”
Slingsby’s Rhubarb Gin
“I love pink gin – it’s a fun take on a traditional drink, with a sweeter, fruitier flavour,” says Avner. “Most people go for raspberry or cherry flavoured ones, but I’m a big fan of rhubarb. Slingsby’s Rhubarb Gin is great.”
“It’s incredibly simple to make your own too,” adds Avner. “Chop some rhubarb up into chunks, shake them in a big jar full of sugar then drench it all with a plain gin of your choice.
“Unfortunately, you’ll need to let it all infuse for four weeks or so. But I promise it’s well worth waiting for!”