Everything you need to build a gin bar at home | Condé Nast Traveller India | IndiaJune 11, 2021
Get, set sip! Photo: kikesalazarn/ Unsplash
India’s love for gin has found a new home: the specialist gin bar, right in your backyard. While the much-anticipated ‘traditional’ socialising might still be a little while away, catch-ups with friends and family in the safety of our homes have turned up the focus on drinks like never before.
For World Gin Day, here’s how you can fill your trolleys with amazing bar must-have’s and create a connoisseur’s guide to gin essentials at home. Says Gin genie Meghana Balaji, Diageo Brand Ambassador, who put this list together: “Well, for starters, not all gin is made the same. Different expressions suit different cocktails and occasions. Having a smart set of staples in your bar just opens you up to cocktails well beyond the ubiquitous G&T.”
Not Just for Your Eyes (Glassware & Garnishes)
Different styles of cocktails demand uniquely suited styles of serve-ware that best amplify the notes created in each of them.
For cocktails that have you top up the spirit with a bubbly mixer (Highballs), choose a smart tall glass or a stylish Copa de Balon. The narrow-mouthed highball is best suited to preserve the carbonation of the mixer for longer while the Copa does bring the ice together courtesy of its rounded sides, preventing the ice from melting in the tropics.
Next up, for sipping a great quality spirit or modifying it a la Old Fashioned, Negroni, or in a Sour: you want to be using a stocky, substantial glass that lends itself well to slow sipping while being broad enough at the rim to allow you to nose the cocktail with ease.
And if you prefer the martini style of cocktail with drinks made to be sipped fully in three parts, no more no less then you must have the appropriately lean style of glassware that captures just that amount in volume while keeping your warm hands firmly on the stem.
The classically angular martini with the long, elegant stem or the shorter 1920’s style coupe, often with decorative etching are your top choices here.
In addition to the glassware, there’s a range of garnishes you could co-opt into your cocktail creativity folio. A simple sprig of mint, thyme, sage; along with smoked rosemary, fresh citrus: whole as a wedge, or a twist with just the peel – play to get a feel of what your cocktail flavour goes best with this season.
The Peripherals (Bar Tools)
Investing in a compact repertoire of bar tools really levels up your cocktail experience.
We recommend the following:
- A peg measure for precise recipe recreations
- A bar spoon to give the bottoms of highballs a stir
- A mixing glass to show off your stir game
- A muddler to crush fresh produce
- A two-piece tin shaker for well, shaken cocktails and sours
- A nifty fine strainer to remove particulates from your final serve and bar tongs to handle garnish smartly.
Additionally, stocking a range of mixers (tonics, ginger beers, flavoured sodas) are a hassle-free way to level up your cocktails. A range of tisanes: hibiscus, chamomile, peach and jasmine lend well to cocktails via being steeped in spirit or by making flavoured syrups with good quality coffee. It is indispensable to a bar, and you will never go wrong when a crisp cold brew is spiked with gin.