If you don’t have the budget for a mobile bartender but still want all the fun then we advise setting up a clearly marked space in your kitchen such as the dining table or kitchen island, for your guests to serve themselves. Make sure there is plenty of space because if the area is too cramped then you risk breakages, accidents or spillages. This is where the tea towels / rubber matts come in handy!
For a gin bar at home you don’t necessarily need every bit of equipment you see in the cocktail bars, but here are just a few things that would really help to make your party a success:
25ml measure for singles,
50ml measure for doubles,
Bar spoon for stirring the drinks,
Tea towels / rubber matts for cleaning up,
Good sized ice chest,
More than any other piece of equipment, the ice chest is the most important because gin drinks requires a good dose of ice - especially cocktails. If you have a freezer, the likelihood is that you will already have it full of food and squeezing ice in there is hard! But having an ice chest makes the ice easily accessible next to your chosen area, meaning a more efficient way to serve drinks.
If you have seen a ‘Del Boy’ style bar on Ebay and have this in mind then make sure that you have a unit with two work surfaces and built-in ice well. The upper work surface is to place your glassware and tools for service, then the lower work surface is to place all your ingredients and general mess that you don’t want any of the guests seeing. We also have great solutions for bar hire only here.
Last but not least, we recommend that if you are going to buy straws then please get metal or paper straws to save the wastage. The benefit of metal straws is that they don’t go mushy and they can be a lovely gift for your guests. Buy one today!
With an abundance of gins on offer, how do you choose which ones to have?
With endless options available it is good to have a strategy in mind and cover all your bases. So get one of each flavour and style, possibly looking out for new ones on the market that your guests may not have tried before. The four basic gin style are Genever, Old Tom, London Dry and Plymouth. Following this there are flavoured gins and navy strength gins.
Genever is the original spirit base, made from Juniper in the Netherlands. The flavour is somewhat malty or savoury, but because of this it expresses the most body. You want to be mixing this with traditional cocktails to get a true representation of the past.
Old Tom is perfect for Tom Collins, as it is a middle ground between Genever and London Dry. There is a good balance of all the flavours and offers a rounded sweetness that the other types do not.
London Dry is the most popular style by far, so all the famous brands that you know like Bombay Sapphire and Tanqueray are dry. This is perfect for a straight up cocktail, with direct flavours of juniper and citrus coming through.
Plymouth only comes from Plymouth, of course, and it is the stronger counterpart to London Dry style. Created for and by the sailors of olden-days, it holds up well against a mixer so Gin and Tonic is perfect for this.
Flavoured Gin comes in all shapes and sizes, but make sure you look for one with low sugar content. It’s easy for a brand to throw in loads of sugar and make the spirit taste amazing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a good quality base or reputable brand.
Fever Tree is a good default now, but there are other brands out there with more character if you want to impress. Double Dutch, Franklin & Sons or London Essence Co. each have their own unique flavours and their strengths lie in the fact that they are different to their competitors. Give them a try - you can find them here.
It’s quite easy to find examples of perfect serves online, from the brand websites themselves. It is most likely that you will see the gin, a fruit or herb and a tonic water to accompany. Take their advice, keep it simple, and you can’t go wrong.
Glassware is important, but balloons aren’t essential. We don’t agree with this craze of enormous glasses, but we do recommend that you fill yours with ice to ensure a good dilution and chill. Whatever you do, don’t just throw three ice cubes in.
Use the freshest ingredients possible, including your garnishes; like grapefruit for Portobello Gin, cucumber for Hendricks Gin and rosemary for Gin Mare.