It’s World Gin Day, And Yes, Our Gin Obsession Is Real
Mark your calendars. The second Saturday of June is World Gin Day. All over the world, gin enthusiasts, social tipplers, even gin virgins will come together to celebrate all things gin. This very special spirit, which once had an image problem so bad it was euphemistically called “mother’s ruin,” has been enjoying a renaissance in recent years. Which is not surprising because, while there are spirits older than gin, and spirits more expensive than gin, it’s hard to beat gin for sheer versatility and colorful history. And, we love its layered nuances, too.
Launched in in 2009 by Neil Huston (sensible British accountant by day; author of the blog Yet Another Gin in his spare time), World Gin Day began as an excuse to bring friends together to enjoy gin in Birmingham, England. The movement was later taken over by blogger Emma Stokes, aka Gin Monkey, who saw it become a global phenomenon. This year’s celebration will be the biggest yet, extending to a full four days.
In Manila, where gin lovers can become really obsessed, we’re taking it to a whole new level with Discovery Primea celebrating an entire Gin Month. Activities include a Gin and Jazz Night on June 27, and a Botanical Painting Workshop with Alessa Lanot on June 30. And every single day, at promptly 4 pm, you can just drop by the Gilarmi Lounge to partake of their superb gin and tonic promo: a drink-all-you-can special that lets you explore their extensive gin library of 70 labels to design your own G&T cocktails
The Gilarmi Lounge Gin Library with 70 featured gins
Gin, a clear spirit made from a neutral-grain base, is primarily flavored by juniper berries. But each bottle gains distinct character from the botanicals added during the production process—and the choice of ingredients is extremely varied. This is the reason for gin’s remarkable range of flavor, covering the spectrum from clean and crisp, to fruity and floral, to earthy or spicy. Even as I write, I’m certain that someone, somewhere is working on a gin with a completely new flavor profile. With such diversity in flavors and styles, each new bottle presents a unique and utterly fascinating drinking experience.
Photo by Ian Castañares for Vault Magazine
Now, a word about the gin and tonic (aka the G&T). This very simple, classic cocktail is basically a highball made with gin and tonic water poured over ice, enlivened by a choice of garnish—you can have more than one, and every variation can yield delightfully nuanced flavors. But because gins come in so many distinct flavor profiles, it can be tricky to choose the right ingredients that will work with your gin, not against it. At the preview hosted by Discovery Primea in partnership with Drink Manila, we discovered some favorites from among their list of guided recipes. Check out these combinations.
The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
This artisanal gin is made in small batches only eight times a year. The nine classic gin aromatics (orris root, cassia bark, coriander seed, etc.) are augmented by 22 botanicals harvested only from the Scottish isle of Islay. It’s a light gin with herbal and floral notes, that feels silky smooth on the tongue.
Gin style: London Dry
G&T suggested recipe: Indian tonic water + grapefruit + rosemary + peppercorn
Infused with marine and shoreline botanicals, including bladderwrack and scurvygrass that gives it minerality, this gin has a soft salinity that will prickle your tongue. It’s fresh and bracing, with tender herbaceous notes and a suggestion of brine that should work well in a martini.
Gin style: London Dry
G&T suggested recipe: Tonic water + orange + black pepper + chocolate bitters (optional
Gin and tonic pairings with choice of botanicals (photo courtesy of Drink Manila)
This gin packs quite a punch, at 57.2% ABV (alcohol by volume). It’s a bold, characterful gin made with an interesting mix of botanicals, including Szechuan peppers, lemon and orange, and double juniper.
Gin style: Navy Strength
G&T suggested recipe: Tonic water + lemon + juniper + vanilla
Floraison is the brief period (a few days only) when the ugni blanc grapevines bloom in the French countryside. G’Vine Floraison is the first grape-based gin to be marketed in the world, made from ugni blanc, the same grapes used for cognac. It’s a delicate, aromatic gin with vibrant floral notes that even non-gin drinkers will appreciate.
Gin style: Contemporary, modern
G&T suggested recipe: Elderflower tonic water + figs + basil + lemon + grape
Discovery Primea Gilarmi Lounge
Gin Month at Discovery Primea begins on June 8, 2018 at 4 PM. Taste 15 gin variants at the Gilarmi Lounge, with guided recipe suggestions from DrinkManila.com. For the complete schedule, follow Discovery Primea on Facebook