Crazy Gin Garnishes
What is your first instinct when you’re sat in a bar and your drink of choice arrives looking fabulous? It sits in front of you in a glistening glass full of ice and garnished to perfection… you take a picture of course! You want all your friends to see how great your drink looks, and you’ll probably see that they’ve been to the same bar the following weekend. All hail the Instagram worthy cocktail! This phenomenon has come off the back of our obsession with our phones and our social media presence. But do these *occasionally* over garnished and over styled drinks detract from the taste? Or do they make the overall experience more enjoyable? Because let’s face it, we are prone to judging a book by it’s cover, and if it looks good you’re going to be even more hopeful that the taste matches up!
For a gin and tonic in particular, a multitude of garnishes have been tried and tested. Lots of people default to a slice of lemon or a squeeze of lime, and more recently exotic citrus fruits such as the pink grapefruit have been doing the rounds. As gin brands become more experimental, they suggest slightly more out there garnishes for their G&T’s, such as cucumber, samphire, rosemary and apple! There’s also been a focus of late on what the gindustry calls a perfect serve, which is a consistent and trusty way to garnish and serve your gin. Some of it comes down to taste preference, but there has been scientific research into what makes a perfect garnish. Drinks scientist Stuart Bale has used flavour compounds to discover the perfect serve. Read more about this here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/11115828/Revealed-how-to-make-the-perfect-gin-and-tonic.html
We were told that a great way to find that perfect garnish was to use the fresh versions of the distillates. We tried pomegranate, black pepper, and coriander. There was no problem with any of them, our gin tasted delicious and the smells of the fresh ingredients complimented it beautifully. But it got us thinking. If someone asked us what our ‘perfect serve’ was, and we answered that it’s best enjoyed with a sprig of coriander, would that not be very limiting? What if you hate the taste of fresh coriander? (Apparently many people do!) We continued to try out new things along with customer suggestions and found that another amazing garnish was a fresh basil leaf. A hugely accessible herb and one that we hoped would be easy for people to get hold of, if they didn’t have any lying around in the kitchen already! It’s initial peppery taste infuses into the G&T, and it then releases it’s sweet and fragrant properties, making it a perfect accompaniment to your drink. Another importance of garnishing your drinks is the experience of smell, and seeing as 80% of your taste is affected by your nose, the menthol aroma of basil exceeds in giving you that refreshing G&T sensation.
It seemed like fate that basil would be our preferred garnish, as it also has significance within our indian heritage. It is considered sacred by some, and has been used to ward off evil spirits. It’s also recognised for its restorative and spiritual properties. And here’s the best bit: it has been used as a natural response to stress, detoxification and to restore balance and harmony - sounds just like what we want from our favourite gin and tonic! Basil works for us, but it might not for you, so be sure to keep on experimenting to create your perfect Crazy Gin serve. If all this talk of gin has made you thirsty, pick up a bottle here and let us know which garnish you think works best.