Why You Should Banish Tonic And Drink Your Gin Neat

When asked, “What’s your favourite spirit to sip neat?” gin will most probably end up last on your list, right?

Gin is one of the most exciting spirits in the world yet it’s very much like coffee: appreciated from afar for its formal qualities, but almost always enjoyed with a bunch of mixers that dilute the spirit’s most delicate flavours. 

So why don’t more people drink straight gin? 

First, if you’re going to drink neat gin, you’ll need the very best quality. Although bottom-shelf vodka or whiskey is still basically palatable, rail gin is completely undrinkable. 

Having said that, very few drinkers know what bad gin tastes like by itself.

Conservatism also plays a big role. Gin was once a common drink neat, up through the 19th century, but it then it became a phenomenal base for cocktails, particularly the martini and the gin and tonic. It’s safe to say that many gin lovers think of gin so exclusively in terms of these quaffs, they wouldn’t know what straight gin tastes like in the first place.

These days, thankfully, a lot more gins are designed to be drunk neat.  The botanically-infused spirit is particularly popular among the craft distillers across the globe and even big-name producers have up their game.

There’s obviously a place for G&Ts and gin cocktails, but don’t be afraid to drink it neat.  It’s easier than ever to find a gin that features flavours fit for every palate, especially when you bring barrel-aged gins into the mix.

With so many great gin expressions on offer, it will be an insult to add tonics, crèmes, liqueurs, and juices to a finely crafted spirit, especially on World Gin Day.