Gin tonic wine glass

The next generation gin you need to know about

Gin liqueurs are set to be the hottest cocktail trend this summer - here’s how to master them at home

The next generation gin you need to know about

Gin is having a huge moment right now. More and more Brits are favouring a trusty G&T over other classic tipples, and the spirit is popping up in everything from ice lollies to tea cakes.

According to drinks writer and author of The Gin Dictionary, David T. Smith, the gin trend is evolving, and summer 2018 is going to be all about gin liqueurs. 

From what they’re made of to how to drink them, check out David’s gin liqueur low-down so you can stay ahead of the curve, including a summer party cocktail idea that's oh-so on-trend. We’ll drink to that!

Where’s the gin trend going next?

There are already hundreds of gins on the market and no two are the same, with producers trying out all kinds of weird and wonderful botanicals - but there's much more flavour experimentation to come, according to David.

He says, “Because of high demand, people are becoming increasingly innovative, and we’re going to see more gins with different concepts and intricate flavourings. 

“The big thing at the moment is flavoured gin liqueurs, which we’re going to see lots of through the summer."

What are gin liqueurs?

Gin liqueurs are made with distilled gin which is infused with fruits or herbs and then sweetened.

David says, “Gin liqueurs are a natural progression from the gin and tonic in that they help people appreciate the variety of flavours that naturally compliment gin, like sweet berries and floral notes to warming spices like ginger.”

And if you’re not a huge gin fan, these liqueurs could change your mind. David says, "Gin liqueurs a great way of getting into gin if you haven’t previously been that keen on it as the sugar content dulls the intense bitterness of the spirit.”

And the flavour isn’t the only difference between gin and its liqueur counterpart… “The big difference between gin and gin liqueurs is that the ABV is lower," explains David. "You have to produce something with a minimum of 37.5% ABV to be able to label your bottle a gin.”

This means that gin liqueurs are less alcoholic, “which is great for a long, refreshing drink without over-diluting the flavours of the gin."

How can you enjoy a gin liqueur at home? 

“Thanks to their beautiful pastel colours and pearly hues, gin liqueurs have an aesthetic element which is great for cocktails and summery drinks,” says David.

For something light and refreshing, David recommends mixing this pink grapefruit and elderflower gin liqueur with club soda or sparkling water. He says, “Fill a tall glass with ice, then pour in one part gin liqueur to three to four parts sparkling water. This will make a long and summery refreshment perfect for lazy afternoons in the garden or to serve at a BBQ.

And the great thing about gin liqueurs is that they can be enjoyed on their own.

David says, “Asda’s Extra Special Rhubarb and Ginger Gin Liqueur would be lovely served on its own on a summer evening as the ginger is cosy and warming. Simply pour the liqueur over some ice, which will help the liqueur’s flavours shine, and sip away.”

Do gin liqueurs work in a gin and tonic?

While most people would usually reach straight for the tonic when drinking gin, David recommends something with a little less sugar in order to help bring out the flavours of the liqueur.

Tonic water contains quite a lot of its own sugars, so topping up your gin liqueur with tonic might make your drink a little too sweet for your personal taste.

“If you love gin and tonics and still want that tonic flavour in there, go half and half tonic water and club soda for a less strong, more refreshing drink.”

How do you make a party drink with gin liqueurs?

David says, “Clear lemonade works really well with a gin liqueur. It isn’t too sweet so as to overpower the liqueur, but there’s still a degree of sweetness. Lemon tends to work well with most flavours, especially berries, so this would work really well with a berry flavoured pink gin - simplicity is the key with this sort of thing.”

To keep your pink tipple looking sophisticated and party-ready, David recommends pouring it into large wine glasses rather than highball glasses or tumblers.

“You’ll really get to see the drink’s beautiful colour and it adds an extra degree of elegance,” says David. “A slice each of lemon and grapefruit, or some berries, will keep it simple but beautiful; perfect for serving to guests at a summer party.”

Feeling inspired to whip up some gintastic tipples this summer? Check out our Extra Special Rhubarb and Ginger and Pink Grapefruit and Elderflower Gin Liqueurs at Asda or pop into your local store.