We’re potentially biased, but gin really is a special, unique and versatile spirit. While we’re big fans of a perfectly poured gin and tonic, as a small batch gin brand we are often asked if you can drink gin neat.
In an effort to encourage more of you to get your feet wet in the wonderful world of straight gin, we’ve created a guide on how to drink gin straight and why we think Sing Gin is the best gin to drink neat.
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First, we should look at why so few people drink gin on its own these days. Let’s rewind to the mid-17th century when gin got its dubious nickname ‘Mother’s Ruin’. Back then, gin was most popular when consumed straight from the bottle (no messing around there)! But as cocktails and G&Ts became popular, people sort of forgot about how good gin can be when it’s allowed to shine alone.
So, is drinking gin straight a good idea in the 21st century?
The answer is yes – gin is a great sipping spirit! But you’ll need to choose the right gin to avoid that abrasive ‘mouth full of pine’ feeling that poor quality bottles can leave.
Gin is shaped by the product from which it’s made and the way it is produced. Gin can be made from grain, grape, rice or beetroot. How a gin tastes when served neat will depend on what the neutral spirit is made from.
Sing Gin is carefully crafted from two white varieties of grape native to Spain. Grape creates a more flavoursome and aromatic gin and it delivers a silky smoothness. It provides a softer mouth-feel than grain that makes Sing Gin among the best gins to drink neat.
Tasting gin neat will also help you to understand the different botanicals in the gin and fully admire the gin maker’s artistic flair. An array of wonderful botanicals are used in gin these days; from fresh citrus notes such as orange, grapefruit and lime to floral, herbal and spicy notes. There are no less than seven different botanicals in Sing Gin and each one brings something unique to our spirit’s overall perfume and flavour. In other words, Sing Gin is basically a cocktail in a bottle if you’re bold enough to sip it solo!
When tasting gin straight, the aromas on the nose are coming from the botanicals which are used to flavour the base spirit. Essentially, as the gin changes on the nose you are smelling the progression of aromas from the still. The best gins have aromas that are rounded and well-balanced.
By tasting gin neat, you’ll be able to best detect and enjoy each of the botanicals that went in to making it!
So if you’re trying to decide whether you should drink gin without a mixer, there’s your answer. Providing that the gin is top quality, there’s no reason to mask your spirit with other ingredients…
Certain drinks are best served in certain glasses.
If you’d like to try drinking gin neat for the first time, pour your Sing Gin into a tasting glass – a short tulip-shaped glass with a small bowl narrowing at the lip. A tasting glass will enhance the intensity and concentration of aromas of the gin so you have the best experience.
Sip the gin slowly and savour each mouthful.
Prefer your spirits on ice?
Go for a rocks glass (also known as a tumbler or old-fashioned) – a short, broad vessel with a heavy base. The glass takes its name from a nickname for ice: rocks. The short length of the glass means the aromas tend to be closer to the nose, which works well for the more delicate gins.
When serving gin on the rocks, use fresh ice made from filtered water. To learn more about how to best use ice when you’re serving gin, read our blog post about how to make the perfect gin and tonic.
Less is more for your garnish when you’re drinking gin straight. Garnish can certainly enhance flavour and appearance, but at the same time, it can also provide unwanted flavour and detract from the aromas of the spirit.
50ml Sing Gin
Plenty of fresh ice
Fill a rocks glass with ice and pour the gin over the rocks. Stir a little to loosen the ice cubes and slightly dilute the gin, and enjoy!
Next time you’re sipping a Sing Gin – whether it’s straight up or in a delicious cocktail, upload a picture of your drink and tag us! We feature customer photos in our Sing Gin Sippers highlight reel on Instagram.