How to taste gin like a pro – tasting tips on how to drink gin
What is the best way to drink gin - or how do you taste gin like a pro?
The simple answer is to use your nose as well as your tongue, to use all of your tongue's tastebuds - and to really concentrate on your experience. Keep these tips in mind - and you'll start to get way more from your gin tasting.
This is the advice we offer during the York Gin Tasting Experience in our 16th Century shop in York.
Invariably, attendees tell us the tasting tips we provide fundamentally change the way they drink gin.
And you can use the advice we give in the shop to get the most out of your gin drinking. You can also use these principles if you want to run your own gin-tasting session with friends at home
Be warned – if you follow these steps, gin drinking will never be the same!
The four steps
1 Open the bottle and use your nose
A large proportion of your experience of any flavours comes from the sense of smell. If you hold your nose, you won’t taste much - this is true not only of gin but virtually any food or drink. So, what can you detect? Are you getting peppery or flowery or citrus notes perhaps?
2 Try neat at room temperature
Don’t worry – we’re only talking about a tiny amount of gin. Pour a little into your glass, just take a tiny amount and let a little run over your tongue, then breathe gently. You’ll sense the different botanicals clearly. The sides of your tongue have particular taste buds, so it helps if you let the gin coat your whole tongue. You’ll get more out of the tasting!
3 Over ice
Pour a couple of thimblefuls over a block of ice. Here, you’ll usually find the flavours open up and you’ll taste something else. This is because the water in the ice interacts with the alcohol and oils in the gin, and allows different flavour molecules to be released.
4 In a G&T or cocktail
Tasting over ice and neat should have given you a good idea of the flavours you can taste and which you most like. These stages should be a good guide as to whether you want to add tonic or throw yourself straight into a cocktail.
The York Gin & Tonic Taster Set
One perfect way to taste several gins over an evening is with our G&T Taster set.
Six gins, six Fever-Trees, six garnishes, six serves and tasting notes for all of them - beautifully packaged and with free UK delivery. A great treat to yourself or a delightful gift for a loved one. If several of you have a box, you can organise your own simultaneous online tasting!
York Gin Discovery Box: More info & buy
Other recommended gins
More gin-fo to help you get the most from your gin
How to choose the best gin for you
What is gin and what are the different types of gin
Gin jokes, one-liners and puns
A short history of gin and the G&T
Which glass should I use for my G&T