If you’ve ever been to a gin tasting before, let alone any type of tasting experience, then you probably would’ve noticed the few unspoken ‘rules’ that almost everyone strives to follow. And if you’ve never been to a gin tasting before, but want to get your facts straight before then, then you’ve definitely come to the right place! Through getting to know some important gin tasting etiquette tips from the get-go, you will be able to establish the proper tasting habits, allowing you to feel way classier and in the know than many of your fellow tasting buddies during your gin tasting session. 

So, what exactly is the ‘correct’ way to go through a gin tasting experience? Below, we’ve outlined some top tips to keep in mind when it comes to preparing for your next tasting session with friends: 

1. Smell It

So, you’ve got your gin in your glass, and you’re ready to take your first sip. But before you do, don’t forget to give yourself a chance to take note of its unique aromas. Remember that a gin tasting experience involves participation from more than just one of your five senses. It involves using your sense of smell as well as your sense of taste, so that you can truly appreciate every aspect of that drink’s composition. For this reason, gin is most commonly served in a Copa de Balon glass (also known as a balloon glass) with a bulbous shape, which enables for better air circulation. This increased air circulation is also what will allow you to pick up on the various notes more easily. So, first give your gin a swish around in the glass to release the aromas, then bring the glass up to your nose before taking a long, yet gentle breath in.   

2. Wet Your Palm

After breathing in from the glass, tip your glass up onto your palm and allow the gin to wet your hand. From there, you can gently rub your hands together then cup them together before sniffing the gin on your hands. You may be able to pick up on some other notes this time than what you initially encountered. 

3. Don’t Gulp it Down

Ok, we’re not sculling drinks like we’re underage at a friend’s birthday gathering. A tasting generally involves taking multiple sips instead of long glugs, and swirling it around in your mouth for a little while so that you can give your taste buds enough time to really savour the flavour and appreciate all the different elements of its taste. After swallowing, don’t forget to try and pick up on an aftertaste, if there is one. 

4. Cleanse Your Palette

You may take sips of water as you switch between gins in order to cleanse your palette. However, one of the best ways to give yourself a clean slate during a gin tasting is by sniffing coffee beans, or even better, taking some sips of cold, weak coffee. 

5. Say Yes to Pairings

After getting a taste of the gin neat, it’s time to spice it up a little by adding in some tonic and various garnishes. Having already tasted the gin on its own, you’re sure to have a much better idea now of how much tonic to add, or which particular garnishes would help to accentuate some of its notes and flavours. Through pairing your gin with the right garnishes, you would be able to amplify some of your favourite parts of the drink; heck, you may have even discovered a new go-to gin concoction for your weekend shenanigans? 
If you’re looking for a local hotspot where you can still savour the taste of various new gins without having to travel miles to a distillery, then be sure to come give us a visit here at The Carlisle Hotel & Distillery. Offering gin tasting sessions, great entertainment and the opportunity for a delicious pub feed, it’s easy to see why so many locals in Victoria Park keep on coming back to The Carlisle Hotel & Distillery. Call us now for more info!