Let me start off with saying that gin is far from my first drink of choice. I’m more of a dark rum, red wine, glass of bubbles kind a gal, and gin had simply never made it into my evening rotation. I have boldly stated in the past, not only do I not like gin, I wouldn’t drink the stuff if it’s free. What is great about this magical new world of cocktails and small bars though, is that sometimes, someone can put a product under your nose and trick you into liking it before you know what’s what and blanketed statements of “I don’t drink beer/white wine/tequila can be quickly trumped by the right serving.
So don’t be stubborn, here’s five reasons to give the white devil a go tonight.
1. We home grow it, mate
For those who know nothing about liquor, Australia is limited in terms of its production. We can’t make bourbon. Whiskey takes a long time. Tequila is a no. But what we can make, is gin. Not only can we legally and practically make the stuff, we’re actually pretty good at it. We have these incredible botanicals in our country like highly aromatic citrus, lemon myrtle, and pepper berry that make everything taste pretentiously delicious.
2. You’re drinking it wrong
Look. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but gin, tonic and “fresh lime” (*makes pinching gesture with hand) is not the best way to drink your gin. Even more shockingly, that stick of cucumber in your Bombay Sapphire is about as flavourfully elegant as dropping a cinnamon quill into your glass of merlot. First of all, tonic in itself can be a risky game. Most mainstream tonics are chocked full of more sugar than a can of Coke. So, not only does that compromise your diet, it also kills the taste of your gin. Talk to your friendly bearded bartender about how to best drink your gin of choice.
3. There are gin bars! Really!
There are some great whisky bars (Baxter’s), Rum bars (The Lobo Plantation) and beer bars (literally every pub), but you don’t see a good gin bar. Right? Wrong! Gin bars are plentiful in this country and Sydney and Melbourne are home to some hidden gems. Head north of the bridge in Sydney and check out the recently opened Tonic Lane. Ex barista Lain Tapsall* and Julian Brenchley are boldly serving beer, wine, gin and nothing else in the evening hours after their café day trade. Its’ an “unrehearsed” kind of space, free from aforementioned bearded bartenders and more wankilicious chat about botanicals. The friendly team here will welcome you into their arms without judging your level of knowledge and take you on a journey of discovery. Try the ink gin for something different. It changes COLOUR.
*Lane/ Lain. Get it?! Gold.
4. Because, Cocktails.
If you’re not a gin and tonic type, there are many a cocktail options that will warrant an appreciative head nod of approval. Try out a Negroni for a stiff option, a Southside for something crisper or a gin Martini for something dangerous. (But for the love of god, don’t – the next reason as a tip – order it shaken).
5. In a world of Justin Bieber’s, be a James bond.
Let’s be honest. What’s your usual choice of drink? Whether it be a vodka lime soda or “the cheapest beer on tap”, you could probably use a little more variety in your routine. Explore new horizons and dazzle your friends/colleagues with you worldly, sophisticated drink choices.
Image source: Bramble & Thorn