Host a Virtual Gin Tasting Experience at Home
We’re a nation of gin lovers and although the pubs have opened back up, there is still a high demand for at-home virtual experiences. Whether you’re a group of friends who can’t meet up, or perhaps you just want to host a really fancy virtual gin night from the comfort of your own home. We’ve got lots of advice on how to host your very own virtual gin tasting experience at home.
The key to hosting a successful and fun virtual gin tasting experience at home is to plan everything in advance. Plan what you’re drinking, what ingredients you’ll need, whether you’re doing gin cocktails, whether you’re hosting trivia about gin etc. By planning all of this in advance, not only will it be easier for you as a host as you will know what you’re doing, but it will also be better for your guests as they’ll have a clear understanding and expectation of the event.
Make A List Of Gins You Want To Taste
The gin market has boomed in the last 5 years, meaning that there are so many types of gins you can try. From a classic London dry to a floral and herbal gin and even fun gin flavoured liquors. When planning what gins you’re going to sample at your virtual gin tasting experience at home, you also want to consider your guests. If you know their favourite gins then include them, it will make the experience more personal and will make your guests feel considered and special.
Some of our favourite gins to include for your virtual gin tasting experience at home are:
- London Dry: Red Door Gin, Horse Guards London Dry Gin, Greensand Ridge London Dry
- Old Tom: Langley’s Old Tom Gin, Bathtub Gin – Old Tom, Cotswolds Old Tom Gin
- Herbal: Cooper King Herb Gin
- Floral: Warner Elderflower Gin, Cotswolds No.1 Wildflower Gin
- Spicy: St Andrews Lemongrass and Ginger Gin, Tarsier Khao San Gin
- Pink: Adnams Copper House Pink Gin, English Drinks Company Pink Gin
If you don’t fancy buying all of these gins individually, lots of distillery companies now offer miniature gin tasting sets you can buy. This is a great option if you’re looking to try different flavours from a specific distillery. Additionally, most supermarkets stock miniatures gin bottles, meaning you can choose a variety of well know gins from different distillers.
Don’t Forget To Plan Your Garnishes!
There are many fun ways to customise and add flavour to your gin, one of our favourites is to add different garnishes. Consider what gins you’ll be tasting and try and pair complementary garnishes. For example, if you’re sampling floral gins why not pair with ribbons or slices of cucumber or edible flowers. Additionally, if you’re sampling a London Dry why not garnish with lime, lemon, grapefruit or orange.
If you’re looking for an extensive guide we love this one which has lots of different brands of gin and what garnishes to pair them with.
Tonics To Compliment
Remember the gin is just one element of your virtual gin tasting, you’ll also want to have a variety of tonics to pair with your alcohol. With so many different tonics available on the market you can pair complementary tonics with your gin.
- London dry: Try a bitter tonic such as Thomas Henry Tonic Water
- Old Tom: Try Mediterranean tonic water such as Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water
- Herbal: Try a citrus tonic such as Artisan Amalfi Lime
- Floral: Try an elderflower tonic such as Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water
- Spicy: For the bold why not try a ginger ale such as Fever Tree Ginger Ale
- Pink: Try a plain tonic water and add a dash of lemonade or even prosecco
Glassware Is Important Too
If you’re anything like us there’s no better feeling than ordering a gin at the bar and it coming in a cool glass. From your classic gin balloon glasses to tall and slim glasses and stemless gin glasses and even that go to Kilner glass.
Make your virtual gin tasting just a little more fun by ensuring that each gin you taste is made in a different glass. This will not only make your gins look fantastic but can also help with the tasting (balloon style glasses are great to help smell and taste the aromas of the gin).
Hosting Your Virtual Gin Tasting Event
To get started you’ll want to invite your friends to your virtual gin tasting event. Choose a platform such as Zoom or Teams to send out your video call link in advance. If you want to make your invites extra special you could design invitations on Canva to send out to all of your guests.
Within your invite make sure to include an itinerary and a list of ingredients your guests will need for the event if you are no supplying ingredients for them. By giving your guests this information early on it gives them plenty of time to prepare and get all of the ingredients in.
Ensure that prior to your call you’ve got all of your ingredients and glassware set out and easily accessible for your virtual gin tasting workshop. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got a good set-up, in clear lighting so that your guests can see what you’re doing clearly. When the time comes for your workshop to begin, log into your call 5 minutes earlier than the rest of your guests so that you can begin letting them on to your call.
Tips On How To correctly Taste Your Gin
- Ensure you and your guests serve your gin at room temperature, this enhances the flavour and aromas of the gins you’re sampling.
- If you’re purely interested in sampling the gin and understanding the different flavours then avoid using any additives. Additives include ice, tonic, garnishes and so on.
- When tasting your gin pour it into your chosen glass and swirl it gently around the cup. This will help to unleash the aromas when you smell the gin.
- After smelling the gin and talking about the different aromas you’re detecting, take a small sip and let the gin sit on your tongue, this will help identify any flavour notes.
- Some of the botanical flavours you may be able to detect include juniper berries, nutmeg, orange peel, cardamon, star anise, lavender, lime peel, coriander seeds dried fruit peel and other botanical flavours.
- Swallow the gin and try and identify the above flavours.
Some key words you can use to help identify what kind of flavours you’re tasting are: Delicate / Dry / Fresh / Fruity / Citrus-forward / Juniper-forward / Piney / Herbal / Peppery /Sharp / Spicy / Warming / Floral / Gentle / Smooth / Soft / Creamy
You can keep repeating the above steps for all of your gins, and then once all of your gins have been sampled in this way you can start having some fun creating your different gin cocktails.
Depending on your group of friends and what you enjoy doing you can take your virtual gin tasting down various different routes. For example, you can talk about the brewing process of different gins and the discovery of gin. Or if you want a slightly less formal virtual gin tasting workshop you can focus on flavour pairings and creating signature gin cocktails.
Need a Helping Hand?
If you love the sound of hosting a virtual gin tasting but either don’t feel confident to host or don’t have the time to organise it then we have a brilliant solution. As an event management company, we offer virtual gin tasting experiences and workshops that are completely run and managed by us.
Taking place in a working brewery you and your guests will be hosted by our expert gin distiller who will guide you through the whole tasting process, sharing her expertise and showing you around the distillery. Furthermore, we will coordinate and organise all of the invitations as well as providing the tasting box or grocery list depending on what option you select.
With years of experience hosting events and having hosted 1000s of brilliant virtual events, we can guarantee both you and your guests will have an excellent time.