A few months ago I hit a wall. A big wall of gin bottles. My collection was approaching 160+ bottles that I’d collected, been gifted and purchased since 2015. The “Gin Shelf” was full, as were many of our kitchen cupboards. It was then I realised I needed to do something. I loved having the bottles alphabetised (still do) and certain bottles that just looked darn sexy on the shelf – and I’d deliberately not drink them to keep them forever more.
As they gathered dust, I spotted a limited edition Gin on the top shelf. It had had maybe 3 or 4 measures taken, so basically a full bottle. I couldn’t even remember what it tasted like. So I picked it up, dusted it off and poured it into a glass. Had a little smell and a taste and it was delicious. Absolutely delicious. This Gin was made to be enjoyed, not sit on a shelf like an old family heirloom.
It inspired me to overhaul my collection, a spring clean if you like. Have a healthy mix of different types and keeping only the alphabetic system I had worked so hard to maintain.
So I’ve set out to create a template that can be replicated to any size collection to optimise your love for Gin. Here’s what I’ve got so far…
60% – Go-To Gins – The core of the collection. To be enjoyed, responsibly, on all occasions. Repeat purchases. These make your favourite G&T, Martini or Negroni. They could be mainly juniper forward Gins, under 50% ABV and have a varied price range of £18 up to £40. From Bombay to Sipsmith. Or Plymouth to Tarquins. They are fairly easily replaced should you run out.
15% – “You Need to Earn It” Gins – These are higher end from your go to. Just a little bit too special to keep sipping at, or even your lovely Navy Strengths may sit here. It may be a Friday night after a long week at work, or something to just set it apart from your core collection. Whatever the occasion – you need to have earned it…
10% – Introducers – Picture the scene, you’ve got friends or family round. The subject of Gin no doubt comes up. Someone confessed to “not like Gin”. Challenge accepted. These may include your liqueurs, less juniper forward…or let’s be completely honest – Juniper-less. That all said, they are a great “foot in the door” for the uninitiated, and could even be the reason why YOU started such a collection.
10% – Special Occasion Gins – pretty self explanatory. If you’re not adopting the alphabetical approach, these would be your top shelf. These are allowed to gather a little dust. Limited Editions, expensive, maybe even cask aged or from overseas – not easily replaced. Birthdays, weddings or anniversary’s – a great way to celebrate.
5% – Apocalypse Gin(s) – this could just be the one bottle you want to remain sealed. A collectors item, a special gift or just one to save for the inevitable Zombie apocalypse. Just make sure you do open it and enjoy it at some point.
Its a bit of a work in progress here at Gin Lord HQ – but this is what I’m aiming for! Of course – the come of the introducers could form part of one of the other categories, but that’s the idea.
Hopefully that’s been of some use. It’s always good to revive the collection every now and again – mine certainly needed it! just remember, it’s been made to drink, so just make sure you do one day.