Guest post: GINUARY MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY AFD

My favourite thing about Ginuary is seeing others playing along, too. I asked a couple of regular contributors to the #Ginuary hashtag on twitter/instagram to write a guest post or two, and Jenn sent her first one through last night (if we encourage her, she may be back to make a final report at the end of the month!).

Without further ado: Jenn (twitter/instagram).

pinkgin&tonic

I made a last minute decision to play along with Ginuary this year. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I do love gin. I’ve just kind of neglected it in light of my overwhelming obsession with beer. I’d had a very beery December though, visiting at least eight breweries, including one on Christmas day. You know what they say though, a change is as good as a holiday. Returning to work on the second day of the year I needed to do something to keep me in holiday mode.

It was easy to start with – I had a bottle of Red Hill Brewery Gin Barrel aged Temptation (Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale) to kick things off. Yes, I started Ginuary with a beer, naturally. This beer is the perfect storm though – my two boozy loves coming together at last. It makes me sad that it was only a limited release and I only have one bottle left.

Temptation

The next day I had a gin and tonic , and the next a martini…then I realised I had already exhausted my repertoire. I’m not much of a cocktail drinker, and less of a cocktail maker. It could come down to shear laziness I guess. I like beer (did I mention that yet?). You knock the top off and pour it into a glass. The hardest part is choosing the glass. You can even drink it straight from the bottle and only a small select group of beer nerds will blink an eye. Cocktails have their own strange terminology, exotic ingredients (so many ingredients) and even their own glass wear rules. And tools. Never did I think I would need a muddling stick. I still don’t have a muddling stick. I am yet to correctly muddle. The shame is palpable.

I am, however, sometimes stubborn and determined and would not let myself be defeated so early on. At the beginning of Ginuary I only had two bottles of gin, and both were half empty. They just happened to both be Australian – The Oxford Scholar made by D. Baker and Sons (who are better known for their Bakery Hill Whisky) and a West Winds Gin Sabre. I knew I’d need to call in reinforcements. Thanks to the kindness of my supportive husband, I gained a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. I stumbled across Tanqueray at a very good price, and on an early morning trip to Dan Murphy’s to pick up other cocktail ingredients, I accidentally ended up with a bottle of Hendrick’s, as you do. I would dearly love more, but my credit card has other ideas (we might need to sit down and have a serious discussion about that though).

Hendricksexperience

Despite not having a muddling stick, I do own a cocktail shaker (because shaken not stirred), and some passable glasses. I have dry vermouth, because it comes in such a big bottle for something that I only use a vague amount of. I also have a garden full of mint and prodigious lemon tree. I made simple syrup (it really is simple). I picked up some soda water.

I did some research and discovered that you can change something as simple as the garnish and have a whole different cocktail (seriously – put onions in a martini and it becomes a Gibson!). I became inventive with watermelon and a free bottle of ginger cider.. I went to my local bar – which is know for its excellent range of craft beer – and ordered a cocktail. It felt wrong , but it tasted so good.

All this has helped me make it through the first few weeks. With the addition of bitters, elderflower cordial, various juices, some planned trips to cocktail bars and some crazy ideas….I think we’re going to make it.

GinFizz