How to Host a Gin Tasting at Home Without Breaking the Bank!
Your short, simple and speedy guide on how to can host a gin tasting night at home!
“What’s there to think about? Just get a couple of bottles of gin and taste them. Sorted…!”
There’s more to hosting a gin tasting than some people think!
Whilst it can be done simply and cheaply, people often miss crucial steps which ruins the whole event.
So take a look at our stress-free six-step guide on how to host a gin tasting like a pro.
- Gin Glasses
- Ice, Garnishes & Tonic
- Palate Cleanser
- Taste & Menu Cards
- And… Gin!
Thirst things thirst, you could have the greatest gin in the world, but if you don’t have a suitable vessel to drink out of, it’ll spoil the experience.
You can’t go having a spectacular oriental spiced gin out of a Sports Direct mug, can you?
We’re not saying you have to break the bank and get some crystal-encrusted glasses, you can pick up proper gin glasses cheaply online or in the shops.
Ice, Garnishes & Tonics
There’s more to a G&T than ice, lime and tonic water. Specific gins are paired with specific garnishes to enhance their flavours.
Additionally, while we’re at it, why buy poor quality tonic water when it makes up such a large proportion of your drink?
(See below for a list of our recommended gins and their pairings)
Be sure to get quality tonics and the right garnish combinations if you want to enjoy the gin in all its glory!
REMEMBER – this step is optional. You may not want to add anything if you’re solely wanting to taste the gins au naturel!
You could try and have a gin tasting without any gin if you wanted… not sure it will go down too well with the guests, though!
Yes, it’s what we’re all here for – the gin!
But what gin?
How many gins?
What type of gins?
Well, first off, we’d avoid any supermarket home brand stuff, but other than that it’s entirely up to you.
Have a look about, research a few types.
We’d recommend four-five different gins for a solid tasting session.
However, even three will suffice if there’s only a small handful of you, but the more the better!
Obviously, the more you buy, the more expensive things get (well… price dependent, but that’s usually how things work!).
Groupia Home Top Tip: Instead of, as the host, buying them all yourself, why not get everyone to bring a bottle themselves! Make sure you let everyone know what you bought though, you don’t want to end up with five bottles of the same gin (unless it’s a real belter!).
A crucial step people often miss.
If you don’t cleanse your palate in between gins, you won’t get the true taste of each (well… apart from the first one), so it’s important to get your taste buds back to base levels for every gin.
There are many weird and wonderful palate cleansing suggestions littered around the internet but we find the two best options are either white bread or plain crackers and water.
Simple. Easy. Reliable.
Now, some may just skip this section (we certainly won’t judge you!), but some people won’t want to actually swallow each taster, particularly if you have a massive selection of gins to try!
If you don’t want people gobbing up into your finest china mugs, buy a few cheap spittoons or receptacles and people can decide whether or not to use them.
Taste & Menu Cards
Part of the fun of gin tasting is not only discovering a new selection of fabulous gins but ranking and discussing them.
Again, if you’ve got quite a few gins on the go, people may lose track of which ones they preferred, so make some tasting cards so people can rate each one and remember their favourite for when you all have a ‘proper taste’ at the end!
Also, make sure you write down or print off-menu cards so you each know what is in each gin… OR… keep that info to yourself and do a blind tasting session to see if people can identify the flavours.
Yes, it’s a palate off!
Our Top Ten Gin Suggestions
- Abelforth’s Bathtub Gin – Garnish: Orange Wedge
- Conker Spirit Dorset Dry – Garnish: Lime Wedge
- Cotswolds Dry Gin – Garnish: Slice of Pink Grapefruit & Fresh Bay
- Death’s Door – Garnish: Orange & Mint
- Ealing Gin – Garnish (Either): Fresh Mint OR Pink Grapefruit & Sprig of Rosemary OR Scented Rose Petals
- Fatty’s Organic Gin – Garnish: Cucumber Wedge
- Lone Wolf Cloudy Lemon Gin – Garnish: Lemon
- Muff Liquor Potato Craft Gin – Garnish: Orange & Sprig of Rosemary
- Ophir Oriental Spiced Gin – Garnish: Orange OR Chilli (for an extra kick)
- Whitley Neil Rhubarb & Ginger – Garnish Orange