Walk up to a bar, wherever you are in the world, and two of the easiest (and safest) choices to order are gin and tonic and dry martini (with gin). That’s not to say gin is boring. Today, places like Escapade Burger & Shakes and Water Library Thonglor will even tailor your drink according to which type of gin you want. This is because while gin is made with the common ingredient of juniper berries, each brand adds other distinctive ingredients (like lemongrass and coriander seed), with the result being a final product that can taste remarkably different and which goes well with different ingredients. Re-distillation plays a part, too. As gin itself is derived from a one-time extraction of juniper flavored spirit with additional flavors, re-distillation results in distilled-gin and London gin (best known as dry gin). Here’s how to pick the ingredients that go best with six brands of gin you can find in Bangkok.
Ingredients: Falls into the London gin category due to being distilled three times and containing no sugar, other ingredients include coriander seeds, angelica root, liquorice, orris root, orange and lemon peel.
Goes well with: Juices—orange, apple, raspberry and cranberry— and tea.
Best to make: Better to use as base spirit for fruity cocktails than served as part of a gin and tonic.
Ingredients: Categorized as a triple-distilled gin. Carries a more floral and herbal scent as a result of ingredients like almond, lemon peel, liquorice, orris root, angelica, coriander and cassia.
Goes well with: Both fruity and citrus ingredients
Best to make: Gin and tonic served with a half of orange as it fits both the citrus scent from the peel and the fruity taste from the juice.
Where to find/price: Escapade Burger & Shakes
mixes Bombay Sapphire with blueberry, pumpkin, tonic water and dill (start at B280).
Ingredients: Hendrick’s is pure gin with no re-distillation but topped with other ingredients like Bulgarian rose and cucumber, which results in a mild and refreshing taste.
Goes well with: Cucumber.
Best to make: Gin and tonic, served with cucumber instead of the normal citrus fruits.
Where to find/price:
Try Hendrick’s Gin with rosemary and cucumber (B220) at Junker & Bar
Ingredients: This German gin has a strong taste of juniper which is very bitter and also spicier than other premium gins.
Goes well with: Wild berries like blackberry and rosemary.
Best to make: As a base spirit for wild berries cocktails.
Where to find/price: Junker & Bar
is looking to bring in some bottles and serve with blackberry and rosemary (B320).
Ingredients: Follows the London dry distillation process with the addition of herbs like juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice the second time around.
Goes well with: Earl grey tea, lemon peel, campot orange.
Best to make: Dry Martini served with a lemon twist not olive. Refrigerate the Tanqueray before serving as dry martini for the best result.
Ingredients: This craft brand uses a very strong distillate gin as the base before adding another 10 herbs during re-distillation: juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, liquorice, orris root, cassis bark, Florentine iris, Seville orange peel, lemon peel and folded lime oil, each using a different method.
Goes well with: Passion fruit.
Best to make: Fruity cocktails. Unlike other gin, Martin Miller’s can go with creamy cocktails, too.
Where to find/price:
Try a Kunming Tourist Trap (Martin Miller’s gin, Chinese rose jam, passionfruit, Chinese tea, B280) at Rock Restaurant & Bar.