The process of tasting gin begins with using the right glass. Selecting it will help you to ‘nose’ the grin. Narrower tops as opposed to wide ones (such as cocktail glasses) are preferred as they trap the scent in, enhancing the experience, making it easier and more concentrated. A good choice of glass is a small curved wine glass. These types of glasses usually have a short stem which helps to keep your gin refreshingly cool and keeps the heat in the stem rather than heating up your cool gin.
The next step is the look of it. Hold your glass to a clear source of light or against a white background such as against a white table cloth or your shirt’s sleeve and evaluate the properties of its colour. The colour comes from the botanicals added, which is also where a lot of the flavour comes from.
Now mix the water of your choice to your gin. This will help to dilute the alcohol and to free the flavours from the hard alcohol that may otherwise distract from its flavours. Next, swirl your gin gently in the glass to allow more oxygen in – this enhances the gin’s aromas. Now smell, take a concentrated sniff, and try to identify the common aromas with gin such as fruit, floral, spices, wood, or citrus. Be aware that if you taste a chemical or very artificial taste it may be due to a very low quality gin.
Now you can proceed to that actual tasting. Take a sip and swirl it in your mouth, by moving your tongue around while doing so. It should be a pleasant taste, with a gentle taste of juniper. Try to identify which botanicals you can taste, such as liquorice, coriander, grapefruit, orange and many more. An important taste that should always be at the tip of your tongue so to speak is juniper – this is the most essential element in gin and its main ingredient.