Gin and herbs is enjoying a resurgence of popularity these days. It seems that while many people enjoy gin, they don’t know much about it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re one of those who wants to learn more about this drink here are some facts about it.You may not think herbs make that big of a difference until you try food made without them!
Along with food, drinks are a major part of a culinary experience. You can take a good drink and level it up to delicious with the addition of herbs.
Botanicals & Gin
Fresh herbs can be used to make almost any drink better and they work wonders with spirits! This may be more true of gin than any other spirit because of the number of botanicals used to give gin its flavor. You will find that there are a few herbs that have the same compounds found in the juniper berries used to make gin which is one of the best ways to enjoy gin.
This is why The Winslow often has spices, dried fruit and botanicals lining the bar.
While gin is delicious on its own, sometimes you want to enhance the flavor with a little something extra. What you’re looking for is an herb or spice that will accentuate your drink’s already delightful taste, but not overpower it.
Here are some herbs and spices to try:
Mint is used for more than the Kentucky Derby’s Classic Mint Julep. You will find it in a Whiskey Smash, a Southside Cocktail, the Old Cuban Cocktail and, of course, the Classic Mojito. Mint is a very aromatic botanical, as are most that are paired with spirits. The flavor that mint brings to the table is sweet yet refreshing. Mint is often used along with fresh cut fruit as a garnish.
Sage is a plant that originates from the Mediterranean and is part of the mint family. It is a woody plant with grayish colored leaves. Sage is often used in cooking and baking but it is also great for drinks too because its peppery and savory flavor often enhances spirits like gin.
Lemon verbena is often used in drinks. As the name suggests it does impart a lemon flavor, but the flavor of lemon verbena differs from that of lemon as it is a little sweeter and brighter than lemon juice and brings with it a terrific herbaceous flavor.
The Moscow Mule is known for its incorporation of ginger, but ginger can actually be used in quite a few drinks. It deepens the taste of a drink and adds just a bit of warmth with a little kick of spice. Ginger is not only a fabulous compliment to gin but also to mezcal, whiskey, rum and vodka.
Basil is an incredibly aromatic herb and like sage is actually part of the mint family. The pretty green leaves of the plant make an outstanding garnish. Although its aroma is strong, the taste isn’t overpowering and is often used to brighten the flavors of a drink.
Thyme, like basil, is very aromatic while not producing an overwhelming taste. In fact, thyme has a somewhat subtle flavor. You will often find thyme paired with lemon in drinks.
Yet another member of the mint family, lavender is used for its sweet and floral notes. It also makes a beautiful garnish. It brings to life earthy botanicals often used in gin and is wonderfully refreshing in seasonal summer drinks.
Gin & Tonic at The Winslow
No one makes a gin and tonic quite like The Winslow, that’s what we’re known for. If you’ve never paired fresh herbs with your gin this is something that you have to try!
No one makes a gin and tonic quite like The Winslow, that’s what we’re known for. If you’ve never paired fresh herbs with your gin this is something that you have to try! Interested in learning more about gin and herb cocktails? Read our article on five classic gin cocktails you can make at home.