The shopping list.

Okay, dudes. I’m going to level with you. In general, there are no Ginuary rules. Ginuary as an existing game is not a thing. There is no “Ginuary: As She Is Played” handbook. My Ginuary involves a level of complication that another person’s Ginuary may not contain. For example, another person’s Ginuary may just be “JANUARY: DRINK GIN”. And that’s cool. That’s totally fine by me. I mean, it’s not like Movember is anything other than “GROW A MOUSTACHE” (and raise money for men’s health but whatever). Or Oktoberfest is anything other than “DRINK ALL THE BEER” (actually there are probably other things involved there but all I get is DRINK ALL THE BEER”). If you want to participate in Ginuary but yours by definition is “ALL GIN, ALL THE TIME (in moderation)” then I have no problem with you AT ALL. As far as I’m concerned, any level of gin appreciation is a good level (in moderation).

Having said that, MY Ginuary theme is “gin a different way every day” and that’s the way my cookie crumbles. That’s the way I’m hoping my cookie crumbles, anyway. I’m not ruling out the possibility of scaling back the operation mid-month due to extreme exhaustion and/or distraction, but I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that. Plus I’ve already stocked the booze cabinet… speaking of which, if you want to play along with Ginuary.com, you will find your shopping list below.

SHOPPING FOR GINUARY: ALCOHOL

DRINK

 # I BOUGHT
Gin 31 Hendrick’s
Sweet vermouth 5 Cinzano Rosso
Dry vermouth 2 Cinzano Extra Dry
Lillet Blanc 3
Maraschino Liqueur 3 Maraska
Aperol 2 (one genuine use, one as Campari replacement)
Cointreau 2
Vodka 1 Vodka O
Grand Marnier 1
White crème de cacao 1 Continental
Crème de mure 1 I haven’t got this one yet!
Crème de violette 1 The Bitter Truth
Elderflower liqueur 1 St Germain & The Bitter Truth (I got a bit excited)
Angostura bitters 3

I’ve listed the number of drink recipes each alcohol will be used in to give you a bit of an indication as to how much alcohol you should buy, particularly if you want to play along but you’re on a budget. If you want to scrape by at an absolute bare minimum for the month, most of these drinks use around two shots of gin, or 60ml. Times that by 31 (days in January) and you’ve got just under 2L of gin to purchase. Choose wisely.

As for the other boozes, feel free to use Ginuary as an excuse to stock up your cabinet. That’s what I did. Some of these are available as miniatures, so if you already know you’re not a huge fan of something, or you won’t use much of it once Ginuary’s over, then rock and roll with that. For example, I bought a miniature Grand Marnier. I don’t really care about it (AKA I’ve never given it much time). Vodka’s one I already had lying around, so if you’re that kind of person, cheers to us. If you’re not a vodka fan, just grab a miniature. (How can you not be a vodka fan?) I bought a 350ml bottle of Cointreau – it was that nice, warm middle ground between a miniature and a full-sized bottle. Aperol’s going to be an adventure (plus I’m still gun-shy around Campari, that guy is just SO BITTER). There are three drinks I’m currently keen on that all contain maraschino liqueur so I bit the bullet and bought a bottle of Maraska, despite it being fairly spenny. Besides, the bottle is pretty and my brother’s girlfriend is a fan so I can always pass it on if it’s too horrific for my palate. Lillet was another gingredient I bit the bullet on, because it’s a bit fance. Again, it’s used in three different Ginuary cocktails that are on the current list I’m working with, and I have a friend who’s a big fan. I had to hunt it down, and I’m going to head back to the same place on my hunt for crème de mure – another elusive rascal.

There are two cocktails on the current possible line-up that I’m puzzling over at the moment, because of an ingredient in each – one calls for a dash of absinthe, the other calls for some green Chartreuse. Neither of those are cheap and as far as I can tell, neither of them come in miniature. I’ll be putting the call out to friends to see if anyone has either of these in their home stocks and wouldn’t mind me stealing the smallest bit of it (maybe in exchange for a Ginuary cocktail?). The other alternative, of course, is to head out to some fine establishment and get them to make the drink for me.

MAN, I SURE CAN TALK A LOT ABOUT BOOZES.

Of course, there are plenty of other gingredients you’ll also need:

GINGREDIENT  #
Sugar syrup 11
Lemon juice 15
Soda water 4
Tonic water 1…
Lime juice 5
Apple juice 1
Pink grapefruit juice 1
Cranberry juice 1
Raspberry syrup/grenadine 3
Ginger beer 1
Lime 4
Lemon 7
Maraschino cherry 3
Orange 3
Cucumber 2
Mint 2

Let’s see how long I can talk about them. Obviously there’s a crapload of lemon juice happening – you can be lazy and buy the pre-squeezed stuff from the supermarket, or you can buy a bunch of lemons and squeeze your own juice. To be perfectly honest with you, I’m going to do a half-half job, and that’s because I’m clever. Some of the drinks also require bits of actual lemon, be that slices or twists, so I’m going to need some real lemons anyway. I may as well use their juice. Same goes for the limes.

Sugar syrup! I’m going to do a whole post on that because making your own sugar syrup is SO EASY. I did it myself at home a couple of months ago and if I can do it, I promise that you can do it. Just buy a whole bunch of white sugar in preparation, and we’ll knock that guy over on the weekend.

There are a few other little bits and bobs that I neglected to add to the list, mostly because I’m hoping they’re things you’ll have in your pantry already, or maybe in your garden. Do you grow basil? Enjoy a cup of earl grey tea from time to time? Have eggs in the fridge? Marmalade for breakfast? Nutmeg to sprinkle in your cooking? Good, good.

Right, I’m tired now. That’ll do. Days until Ginuary: 4.