Belfast Telegraph

Perfect serve: The complete guide to flavoured gin

This year flavoured gins are the drink of choice! Gin-loving millennials are excited by the pink, strawberry options and gin experts love that they can experiment with new, aromatic flavours.

We caught up with, Gareth Irvine, founder of Co Down gin producer Copeland Spirits, to find out exactly how to shop for and serve flavoured gin this Christmas. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.

Here are his top tips. 

Turn up the volume! 

Label-checking is a must to be sure you’re getting what you want. 

Gareth explains: “Some flavoured gins are truly gins, whilst others are gin liqueurs. For instance, a gin will have a volume of around 35% or more whilst a liqueur might only be 15% so if it’s a gin you’re after be sure to check the label. 

“Many people will buy their favourite gin and add a gin liqueur to it to create a flavoured gin but with plenty of high volume options out there, this isn’t necessary."

Watch out for additives

It turns out some flavoured gins are purer than others. 

“Many flavoured gins and gin liqueurs contain syrups and sweeteners so powerful they can completely mask the taste of the gin itself," says Gareth.

"This is usually because the base gin that is used is really poor quality. While those vibrant purple or neon-like pink gins might look great on the shelf, they are usually packed with artificial colourings. 

“Authentically flavoured gins are flavoured over a long period to deliver a natural finish. All of our gins are infused with fruits and herbs that we source locally and each batch takes around three months to complete.

“Our newest release is a winter-inspired Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant flavour, and we actually started the infusion process for it in September to ensure both the flavour and colour were just right, and created naturally. 

“It’s a rich berry colour and its familiar festive flavour is intensely sweet with an end kick of cinnamon - everyone’s favourite Christmas spice.”

Be experimental

Gareth’s advice is to stray from strawberry to explore the full offering.

He says, “There is more to flavoured gin than just strawberries. We do love a reliable strawberry flavour but we also enjoy experimenting with other fruits and herbs.”

Don’t over garnish

Gareth’s final tip reminds us to embrace the flavour. 

He explains, “If you buy a good quality flavoured gin, the hard work has been done for you. You don’t need to over garnish. A simple orange wedge or a subtle orange tonic is ideal with our winter gin.”

So there you have it folks - your complete guide getting flavoured gins right this festive season.

Priced at £32 per bottle, just 2000 bottles of Copeland Gin’s limited-edition Spiced Apple and Blackcurrant are available, exclusively stocked at independent retailers and Belfast International Airport. For more information visit copelandspirits.com 

Always drink responsibly. Visit drinkaware.co.uk for more.

Copeland Gin Winter 1.jpg

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