Do you wish to break the ice at a gathering? One of the best ways to do this is to host your gin tasting. Aside from breaking the ice, it can also expand your tasting horizons. Just be sure to prepare the necessary things that you need, such as decent glassware, different types of gins, and of course, your willing participants.
Just Keep It Simple
Avoid going overboard. You don’t want to overwhelm your nose and palate. The whiskey ambassador, Stephen Fante, suggested that you should not serve more than three or four gins.
Try to Keep It Neat
It does not mean that you should not spill the gin, although you shouldn’t. Drinking it neat means that you have to refrain from using ice or a mixer. However, after the tasting, you can take the gins and observe their reaction with its matching cocktail.
Use the Right Glass
Use curved glassware instead of a straight-sided tumbler since this is efficient in holding the aroma. A tulip-style whiskey glass is fine. However, it is a good idea to blow the top of the glass before nosing. On the other hand, a distiller’s glass has a larger mouth, so you have to blow across the lip.
Go for A Variety
Try to offer different varieties. Your gin tasting should include gins that taste a bit sweeter or a bit lighter on the palate. You could include an Old Tom style, a Plymouth gin, a London Dry style, or a Navy Strength gin. All of these gins have their particular taste profiles and strengths.
Add Some Garnishes
You can pair your gin with a different selection of garnishes. Just look at the bottle and see the botanicals included in the gin. Then choose a spice, herb, or fruit that will complement it.
Keep It in Order
It would be an excellent idea to line up your samples. You can arrange it from the lowest proof to the highest proof.
As you are taking sips, try to take notes as well. Start with the aroma. Before nosing it, swirl the gin in the glass first. It is because the volatiles can be strong at the start. Swirl it again before taking your first sip. Determine if the nose and flavour are the same. Swirl a small amount of gin around your mouth to ensure it is distributed on your taste sensors. To intensify the flavours, try to suck in some air. Finally, swallow the gin and focus on its finishing notes.
Once you are done tasting, try to rate the gin on a scale of 1 to 4. List down the characteristics that you have observed in the aroma and palate. Does it have fruity, spicy, or floral notes? Don’t forget to jot down your likes or dislikes as well. Remember that this is just for fun, so keep it informal.
In between sips, be sure to clear your nose and palate. You can easily do this by sniffing a bunch of coffee beans. However, you could also smell your scent to go back to neutral.
Make a Comparison and Contrast
After you are done with the samples, conduct an open discussion. Afterwards, you can proceed to the cocktails.
Tasting several gins is all about the different flavours of the gins. However, you can always mix it up a bit by adding some cocktail elements. It would probably be better if this is done at the end of the event.