Seasonal G&T: A beginner’s guide to flavour pairings
As much as we will always love a simple slice of lemon in a gin and tonic, playing with flavours and garnishes can show you a whole other side to your favourite gin. The world of flavour can seem a little overwhelming though – how do chefs and bartenders come up with those combinations that sound wild, but just work? Well, it’s about to get molecular, baby.
The thing is, each fruit, herb or bark that we know (and use in gin!) is made up of various compounds, and these compounds relate it to other flavours – some of them quite unexpected! The hero of Never Never’s story, juniper, contains limonene which gives a lively citrus flavour, but also a-pinene which has pine and rosemary notes, and myrcene which is found in wild thyme as well – are you getting some garnish ideas already?! Our other botanicals are really chosen to support this flavour profile and throw up their own pairing ideas. Angelica root, for instance, is a relation of dill. This fragrant herb is an elegant and aromatic G&T garnish which will instantly elevate your drinking experience.
Highlighting the flavours in the gin is one way to go, and has been advocated with great success by some brands – who can look at a Hendrick’s bottle without thinking of a cucumber these days? But you can also try contrasting tastes. Savoury flavours like juniper, rosemary and thyme actually love sweeter fruits. Orange is an obvious one, but also things like peach, cherry and lychees. These are all at their best at certain times of the year, so switch it up according to the seasons. Not that we believe gin is ever boring, but thinking about garnishing this way makes sure of it.
Basically, have a think about flavours then get down to your local market and see what looks good this week…then stick it in your G&T! What better way to get one of your five a day?