Forget the gym resolutions this year and focus on the gin resolutions! Whether you’re a novice gin drinker or a bona fide juniper connoisseur, there’s always a way to add a little bit more ginny fun to your life. Make 2017 your ginniest year yet with these goals that will encourage, enlighten and ginspire you.
1. Discover a new cocktail
The gin and tonic is tried and true, but why not take the time this year to broaden your ginny horizons? If you’re a mixology novice, start with some simple classics. Martinis and Negronis are almost as easy to make as a G&T and put a delightfully different twist on your favourite spirit.
If you’re ready for the next step, delve deeper into cocktail territory with Glendalough’s spin on the Hot Toddy or skim through some other mixology guides for daring drink inspiration. There’s a whole world of ways to enjoy your gin out there!
2. Try your hand at some boozy bakes
Spice up your culinary concoctions with bit of a boozy boost! Check out Carol’s Gin Kitchen for gorgeous gin eats, or dust off your mixing bowls and channel your inner star baker with The Gin Baker – a Craft Gin Club Member and dessert-making virtuoso. You can find a whole range of his masterpieces, including gin cheesecake and Negroni cupcakes, right here on our Ginned! blog.
3. Forage for botanicals
Something truly unique about this month’s Glendalough spirit is the fact that almost all the botanicals are foraged for on the land around which the gin is made. But wild plants and herbs aren’t just for making gin – you too can make use of the land around you in your own cocktails and cooking. From nettles and elderflowers to blackberries and sweet chestnuts, nature’s bounty offers the culinary explorer a whole larder of tasty options.
Before you head into the wild, make sure to arm yourself with a reliable foraging guide – or even better, book yourself onto a guided foraging walk like those offered by Glendalough’s Geraldine, via wicklowwildfoods.com.
4. Make your own gin
While it’s impossible to imitate the craft and mastery that takes place in distilleries like Glendalough at home, giving your own homemade gin a go can be a fun and exciting way to learn even more about the spirit.
In its simplest form, gin is a neutral base spirit, flavoured with juniper and other botanicals. This means you can make your own so-called ‘compound’ gin by infusing these ingredients in some good quality vodka. Pop some juniper berries and a selection of other flavourings – such as coriander seeds, cardamom, peppercorns and citrus peel – into a sterilised glass bottle and top up with vodka. Leave to infuse for a few days, gently shaking and tasting at regular intervals until you’re happy with the flavour. Filter out the botanicals and enjoy!
5. Invest in a proper gin cabinet
If you’re finding your gin shelf growing a bit crowded, this is the year to upgrade your spirit storage to something that shows off the beautiful collection of gins you’ve amassed! You can find beautiful drinks cabinets online or at local antique shops, but we’re partial to some DIY – gin in hand, of course! Small bookshelves, cabinets and even pallets can become the ultimate gin vessels with a little bit of grit and ingenuity. Grab a hammer, sketch a plan, and get ready for a well-spent wintry weekend.
6. Visit a distillery
Something every true gin lover needs to do at least once in their lives is visit the hallowed source of the nectar they so love and enjoy. Not only can you learn a lot about your favourite spirit, there’s also often the opportunity to do some guided tasting and stock up on your new discoveries! Why not schedule a trip to Glendalough’s brand new distillery in beautiful Ireland this year? With tastings, tours and the gorgeous scenery to enjoy, this be your best holiday yet!
7. Hold a gin tasting
The best way to refine your gin palate? Try them all, of course! A structured gin tasting is an excellent way to expand your knowledge and understanding of the various gin flavour profiles that are out there.
Select three to five gins to taste alongside each other, invite some friends round and work your way through the lot, comparing notes on the different aromas and tastes you can identify. Try a bit of the spirit neat, then see how it changes when you add water or tonic water. Don’t be afraid to refer to the bottles to prompt your palate to detect the different botanicals – whether it’s piney juniper, aromatic cardamom or citrusy, spicy coriander. You’ll be a gin genius in no time!