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Ginuary: The January Story What sets Gin apart from the rest and how is it so versatile? Can Gin truly appease everyone's palette? To know more, we spoke to seven mixologists and founders in the restaurant business from Mumbai.

By Kavya Pillai

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Photo by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

The start of any party is with the host or your friends asking you, 'What you will be having?' Surprisingly this past month one particular distilled spirit, Gin became a popular answer. The month of January or shall we say Ginuary, was spent celebrating gin as a versatile spirit that gives people a unique and interesting experience with its flavours and styles.

This spirit has a rich and equally distinct origin in early Europe. Gin was used for its medical benefits and was made from distilled grain as well as berries from coniferous juniper shrubs and other botanicals. Some historians also believe that monks in southern Italy made the spirit from juniper trees in the 11th century.

Gin, today tastes very different as it is purer and comes in a variety of options with different flavours and styles. But what sets this spirit apart from the rest and how is it so versatile? Can Gin truly appease everyone's palette? To know more, we spoke to seven mixologists and founders in the restaurant business from Mumbai.

Our first question was what do people not know about Gin? Casilda Misquitta, the head bartender at Taftoon, an Indian restaurant, told us that not everyone knows that Gin's a spirit that blends well with most tonics and other spirits. Also, every type of gin has a "different note than the other."

Another lesser-known fact about the spirit is the difference between Dry Gin and Wet Gin. Dry Gin is unsweetened and Wet Gin has flavours added to it to taste sweet. Sujith Shetty, the founder of Balmy, a cafe and bar believe this is one of the major reasons their "guests go wrong with their orders". Gautam Rathod, the mixologist at House of Mandarin, a Chinese restaurant, suggested that the best way to compare different types of gin is to taste them at "room temperature, in equal amounts of water".

This is also one of the reasons Gin is not widely explored. People who have a sweeter palette are often thrown off by the bitter aftertaste of Gin. For this, a range of cocktails comes to the rescue. Vasant Shetty, the mixologist at Donna Deli suggests people who want a sweater drink may order themselves "A Strawberry Pink Gin Infusion topped up with Tonic Water" or a "litchi martini" added Govind Rana, from All Saints. One of the more common cocktails is "Sex on the beach & Pina Coladas" which Bino Sunar from Demy, a cafe and bar, says are easily found at the majority of bars and are hard to go wrong with.

The most popular Gin Cocktail this season came as no surprise. The power of social media popularized the "Negroni", said Sneha Bangera, a mixologist at Millo. Rathor added that the classic "Gin and Tonic" however, never ran out of style. Vasanth shared that his personal favourite cocktail was a classic G&T with "a slice of orange".

Kavya Pillai

Entrepreneur Staff

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