Experts Share Secrets To Crafting & Pairing Gin Cocktails

If you need a reason to drink a glass of refreshing cocktail, this weekend you have got one. Every year, World Gin Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of June. It is time to call all your friends and block June 8, 2024, for a lively night. But to make the party lively, you need refreshing cocktails and good food. 

Video Credit: Tipsy Bartender/ YouTube

Whether you are a seasoned gin enthusiast or not, this short guide will make you a pro not only at crafting cocktails but also pairing them with foods. Slurrp spoke to experts who shared secrets to balancing the flavours of a cocktail, understanding the notes of gin, and selecting the best dishes to pair with it. You will learn to elevate the cocktail experience, whether you are the host or guest at a party. 

Flavour Of Gin: Bitter Or Sweet?

Salil Naik, Senior Bartender at Nksha Restaurant, Churchgate, Mumbai, described the flavour of gin as ‘invigorating pine-like quality. He added, “Juniper berries give gin its character and coriander seeds, present in most varieties of gin spirits, add spicy notes.”

“Depending on their source, some varieties of gin boast peppery notes similar to sage or ginger. If a batch has Angelica roots, the spirit will present an earthy aroma and musky notes that will remind you of walking through dry wood,” he said.

Which Fruit Juices Go Well With Gin?

One of the key elements to preparing any cocktail is to balance the notes of the spirit with a variety of fruit juices. If you are not using the cocktail mixture, you are left with the option to combine gin with fresh juices to make the cocktail zesty.

Siddhant Hule, Bartender and Brand Ambassador of Jin Jiji from Peak Spirits, said, “Gin pairs excellently with fruit juices boasting a citrusy and refreshing profile - such as orange, grapefruit, passion fruit, watermelon, and apple.” Salil Naik added that cucumber juice can also be paired with gin for a refreshing flavour.

101 Guide To Prepare Gin Cocktails

There are some do’s and don’ts when you are preparing anything to drink or eat. Similar is the case with cocktails. Experts Hule and Naik shared a few guidelines for preparing the most flavourful gin-based cocktails. This includes,

  • Balance sweet and sour notes by adding citrus elements as a primary botanical.
  • When serving the cocktail over ice, fill the glass to the brim for optimal temperature
  • You must add fresh garnishing elements near straws to elevate the aromatic experience
  • Always taste the drink before serving to ensure its quality
  • Prioritise using fresh ingredients and fruit juices over synthetic syrups for superior gin cocktails
  • Avoid mixing gin with any other spirits to preserve its botanical essence. 
  • Refrain from adding strong or dominant flavours that can overpower the notes of gin, making it lose its characteristics.

What Food To Serve With Gin Cocktails?

You can party without spirits and cocktails but not without food. It brings a group together around a table and acts as an icebreaker. Over food, people can talk, bond, and even resolve the biggest of conflicts. However, when you are drinking cocktails, food helps to prevent the alcohol from travelling in your bloodstream faster.

Food balances the strong flavours of spirits. While slowing down the process of absorption of alcohol in your body, snacks or starters also amplify the experience. What is necessary to note is the kind of food that you serve with cocktails or spirits. For example, desserts are not the way to go while drinking. 

Naik suggested serving gin cocktails with berries, nuts, prawns, and even Indian curries like lamb kofta. Ansh Khanna, Co-Founder of Jin Jiji from Peak Spirits, added, “Gin, as a sipping spirit, is best drunk as an aperitif to understand its true flavour.”

According to the expert, if you have prepared a batch of classic Gin & Tonic for the evening, most varieties of Indian foods pair excellently with it. “Fizz and sweetness cut the spiciness in the food,” he added.