How to Pair Gin
Gin is often limited to being paired with tonic or nothing. It can, however, be paired with various foods, flavoured tonics, and other mixers. But how does one calculate what goes with what?
Opposites attract when it comes to pairing food with drink. For example, seafood or nuts has been a historically excellent pairing with a refreshing G&T. The saltiness of these foods compliments floral undertones due to the juniper berries that are always present. Alternatively, tastes such as charcuterie meats are savoury and offer salty characteristics. This is best paired with citrus-heavy gins for balance, such as Purist Zest. Spicy foods, such as curries, pair well with gin due to the spices that are used for flavour in distilling gin. The spice also brings out a distinct pointed taste.
The same rules apply. With grapefruit or citrus-based tonics, a dry and bitter gin is the best way forward. The tartness of the alcohol combined with the sweet fizzy tonic creates a refreshing parity between them. However, an unflavoured tonic that has a biting tone is more influenced than the gin rather than vice versa. A suggestion is the Purist Marble, with its sweet notes of strawberry and cranberry which can balance the tart taste of the tonic.
Tonic is not the only mixer of choice to consider. Lemonade has become an increasingly popular mixer with the younger generation, as a sugary and sweet lemonade helps balance the acidity. Lime juice and simple syrup make a refreshing cocktail that is called 'gimlet.' Different limes can create various tastes, for example, a regular lime is sweeter than key limes. A gin buck is a cocktail that relies on ginger beer or ale, with the added zest of lemon or lime, to create a balance of sweet and spiced.
At the end of the day, personal preference is a huge part of the pairing. Sweet tooth's and those who want a tart taste can change any combination to focus is on what best suits their palate.