The Gin and I: a love story.

It began one night under a blanket of darkness. The music echoed, the lights pulsed, and when I spotted you across a room full of strangers, I knew we would be together. You and I, gin. You and I together, forever.

my mum cried (with joy, right?)

I'm reusing this photo because it's hilarious.

All lies. (Except the together forever bit, I’m ready to sign my name to that.)

Read about my personal history with gin (and alcohol in general) behind the cut.

I turn 28 years old tomorrow, so I have ten years of legal drinking under my belt (Australian laws). I’ve never been a constant/heavy drinker. I believe my first “favourite drink” was Baileys Irish Cream, on the rocks like a gangster – or, as I’ve since learnt on the path of my alcohol education, on the rocks like a nanna. At least it wasn’t with milk, right? I’m not going to deny that I still love the taste of Baileys (mmm, creamy) despite not having had it for years. I’m sad I couldn’t find any gin recipes that also included Baileys, as that would have been a great excuse to try out the new “biscotti” flavour.

OM NOM?

Is it delicious? I want it to be delicious.

For my first few legal drinking years, I tended to stick with the beer and wine that was offered to me. I didn’t like beer to begin with, though that’s probably because I was given XXXX and VB. I remember when my best friend and I were twenty, we made a conscious effort to “like beer”, because it was affordable and accessible and we were obviously classy chicks. The conscious effort worked, as years later we’re both beer fans. Wine is always on the cards and I’m not ashamed to admit that I still drink cask wine, but I’m much more amenable to a NZ sauvignon blanc or a tasty, full-bodied shiraz. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a connoisseur of beer or wine. For a few years I avoided drinking shiraz because I thought that particular variety of red wine didn’t agree with me – it turns out shiraz is delicious; what a fool.

Sunset on the back deck.

Twilight shiraz; wine bottle candelabras.

My love affair with gin began only a few short years ago. I’d tried a lot of spirits. I’d had a gin and tonic once, or at least a sip of somebody else’s, and the bitterness of the tonic terrified my young palate, so I ran in the opposite direction. See also: martini. I’d been through phases with other drinks; I remember one summer I had a bit of a crush on Cointreau with lime and soda, so that was “my drink” until I accidentally had a bit too much at my 24th birthday party and I haven’t had a Cointreau (with lime & soda or not) since.

wig party

Parents: this is what too much Cointreau does to your children.

Can't believe I'm sharing this on the internet

Passed out, cuddling a towel.

And then a fateful night arrived. Somebody bought a round of drinks, all gin and apple juice. I was twenty-four (and terrified of Cointreau). It was delicious. I wasn’t long for jumping on a plane for my first overseas adventure, and on that fateful night, I decreed that gin and juice would be my holiday tipple. It’s coincidental that I settled on gin for that holiday: seven weeks running around the UK, where the historic Gin Craze itself had taken place. I have particularly fond memories of throwing back a number of gins at the Monarch in Camden one crazy night.

FUG PARTY

It resulted in a lot of photos that all look like this.

LET’S GET TO THE POINT: for the last three years, give or take a few months, gin has been my spirit of choice. From my sweet juice beginnings, I’ve come to appreciate many different drinks that feature gin. I won’t waffle on about them now, because you can be confident that you’ll hear a lot more about some (most? all?) of them in the coming weeks. I’m also really looking forward to discovering more about gin – I’ve already learnt so much just in the last few weeks, since deciding to go ahead with this project. Every day of Ginuary is a new discovery for me.

I can’t wait to tell you all about gin.

Vale Troubadour

Last drinks.