Studying for my Wine and Spirit Education Trust exams, I had no choice but to sample gin and taste it analytically. Mixing the pure spirit with 50% water lent some weight to the argument that it's the mixture with tonic which exacerbated the problem. But still. There was something about distilled drinks flavoured with juniper which had limited appeal for me.
Until now... It was with some surprise that on Good Friday, I found myself at The London Gin Club in Soho's Great Chapel Street. Some good friends had decided to treat gin-loving Mr Purple Teeth to an early birthday treat.
If you can specify, booking a table in the basement will add a little more of that vintage "gin joint" appeal.
This can really help you figure out what kind of gin you prefer, what components you enjoy and help you select and enjoy exactly the right drink from the 130 plus gins on offer behind the bar.
All 4 of us had quite different preferences, and of course, I invented the very finest selection, which, if bottled, might just have turned me into a gin lover.
It was a fun evening, and I learned that I don't hate gin after all. I'm not sure I'll convert from wine, and I'll still enjoy a dry sherry as an aperitif, but, if any Purple Teeth readers fancy a gin tasting party, I'm now far more equipped to help you out.
If you take your gin seriously, you might like to learn more about the history of gin, or find out how to make the best G&T from one of the books mentioned here. I've also included links to Scottish Gin (yes it does exist) and Gin Mare, the Spanish Gin which was a huge hit on our blind tasting as well as my favourite Navy Strength. Taking things even further, you can even buy a tasting kit with single estate juniper gins from around the world. Or, Purple Teeth can host a Gin tasting party at your house. The choice is yours!