As the days start to get a little longer, the sun a little warmer, and the number of days to the summer holiday a little shorter I start to crave a good old G&T more and more. On one particularly warm day a week or two ago I took it upon myself to do some experimenting with gin garnishes so that my family and I could soak up the sun with some refreshments in hand.
It was a lot of fun experimenting with different flavours and trying out combinations that I’ve heard of but never really tried myself. By the end of the day I had tried 5 different garnishes, each of which had a unique flavour and complimented the dryness of the gin really well.
Not only do these garnishes add interesting layers of flavour to your drink – they look super pretty too! Perfect for sundowners with your friends this December.
1. Cucumber & Peppercorns
This is a combo I had tried once before with a friend of mine and I really enjoyed the spiciness of the pepper paired with the dryness of the gin. For this combo I used Stretton’s Original London Dry Gin – one of my new favourites. I am in no way a gin connoisseur but for me Stretton’s is a sweeter, smoother version of Gordon’s. I love the taste of juniper berries in gin and don’t really enjoy the new varieties that include more floral flavours. Overall, the combination of cucumber and peppercorns was surprisingly refreshing. The only thing I would do differently is perhaps crack a bit of pepper into the drink instead of adding the actual peppercorns to get more of the flavour.
2. Lemon & Lavender
This combination was one of my favourites of the five. Lemon always compliments the flavour of a G&T so well with it’s sourness amongst the sweetness of the tonic. Adding lavender takes this tart sweetness to the next level by providing a delicious floral flavour to your drink that tastes just like summer. A definite must try! Bruise the lavender flowers a little with the back of a knife before adding to your G&T to release more of the flavour.
3. Apple & Coriander Seeds
Apple and coriander seeds go surprisingly well together! It’s a flavour combination I can honestly say I’ve never tried before, but the result was way more delicious than I expected. Coriander seeds have an interesting flavour; a mixture of sweet, spicy, nutty, oriental tastes that I don’t think anyone has ever quite been able to put their finger on. When you pair this strong flavour with the fruitiness of the apple it really wakes up your taste buds as they experience every flavour from sweet, to bitter, to sour, to spicy. Crush the coriander seeds a little before adding to your drink to release the flavour and perhaps add a little less than I added in the picture – they just tend to get in the way a bit.
4. Ginger & Rosemary
This was my favourite combination! Placing slices of fresh ginger in your G&T makes is so much more refreshing, and the sweet spiciness goes so well with the other bitter flavours. The floral flavour of the rosemary seems to tie all the other flavours together to make a really well rounded drink.
5. Lemon, Thyme, & Peppercorns
This is a drink perfect for sipping slowly and taking in the different tastes. The lemon provides that sweet sourness I spoke about earlier that goes brilliantly with the bitterness of the gin, whilst the thyme adds floral notes of flavour that pair really well with lemon. The peppercorns seemed to add a little kick that helped complete the drink and provide a deeper flavour to the lighter notes of lemon and thyme.