Every Gin has its own flavour profile, so finding a garnish that compliments your Gin will enhance your Gin and Tonic and really bring out the flavours of the spirit your drinking. Here’s our guide to getting the right garnish.
What is a Gin Garnish?
Gin is most commonly served with a tonic to create the famed Gin and Tonic. You can use other mixers but here we’re focusing on the classic tonic water. In a traditional G&T the garnish of choice has long been a slice of lime or lemon. The zesty hit from the citrus fruit adds to the dry flavour of the London Dry Gin, which traditionally wouldn’t include any citrus botanicals.
Today however, things look a bit different. Adventurous mixologists have looked far beyond the staid slice of lime or lemon for more exotic garnishes. Plus, following the craft gin explosion the landscape of Gin flavours is far broader, making pairing a garnish a far more creative and adventurous experience.
What garnish goes with what gin?
Firstly, there is no right or wrong choice of garnish to compliment your G&T, its down to personal preference. But if you were to follow the flavour profile of the Gin itself, you can source a garnish that either matches the botanicals of the Gin or contrasts it to create a more balanced flavour; it really depends on the Gin.
Gin aficionados and tasters may be familiar with tasting wheels. These handy visual charts trace the scents and flavours out to the botanicals present in the Gin your sipping. By using a botanicals tasting wheel, like the one designed by The Gin Foundry; you can identify flavours present in the gin and source a garnish that compliments or contrasts it.
Here’s a few examples to consider; when adding a garnish to a gin with floral notes, add a few sprigs of thyme or elderflower to your glass to amplify that flavour. Or if your gin has a fresh a fruity flavour lasting on the palette after tasting, then try adding a slice of cucumber to help make the taste last all summer.
Pairing a garnish can also depend on the time of year. Drinking a G&T that evokes the scents of summer in the middle of winter doesn’t really work. So instead of picking fresh and floury garnishes choose a more zesty or fiery compliment like orange peel, ginger, peppercorns or star anise.
What garnish should I serve with Exeter Gin?
With the small batch Gins we produce at the Exeter Gin distillery we aimed to create a series of distinctive flavoured Gins, with strong personalities of their own. Here is our recommendations on what garnish to serve with each Exeter Gin and Granny Garbutt’s Gins we produce.
When we set out to create Exeter Gin we always wanted a stronger more robust flavoured Gin. With a hit of juniper balanced with basil, cinnamon, marigold and 11 other botanicals, we recommend serving your G&T with an orange peel to compliment the bold flavours of the Gin. Of course you can always stick with traditions and serve with lemon or lime, it’s up to you!
With our Navy Strength version of Exeter Gin we enhanced the flavours to compliment the whopping 57% strength. For warmer days in Spring and Summer add a sprig of Tarragon with your Ivaar the Boneless G&T. Or for a winter warming cocktail try adding a stick of cinnamon instead.
Our sister brand Granny Garbutt’s pays tribute to the Granny’s passion for the North Yorkshire Moors through delicate floral flavours. A perfect accompaniment to these lighter flavours would be a slice of cucumber for a refreshing G&T. Or if you prefer to keep the citrus notes in your glass then try a sprig of lemon thyme, you’ll have both herbaceous and citrus zing complimenting each other.
Building on the moorland floral notes of Granny Garbutt’s Gin, Grandad’s Revenge introduces an intense fruitiness to balance that 57% strength. Blackberry and hint of wildflower honey evoque the North Yorkshire moors, but in your glass we recommend serving with a premium tonic and slice of grapefruit.