Additional graduation gifts to go with a bottle of gin
December 6, 2009 9:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting my little brother a nice bottle of gin for his graduation, but I'd like to include other side-presents along with it. But what? I'm not a gin drinker!

My first reaction was to get him a nice bottle of scotch, but he doesn't like it the way I do. Instead, his alcohol of choice is Hendrick's Gin. I'm getting him a bottle of that, but it's less expensive than the scotch I was originally planning on and I'd like to include some accessories along with it. I don't know much about gin, though - do people ever drink it straight (some posts I saw here suggest as much)? If not, would he need some kind of cocktail tools? I unfortunately don't know any more details of his drinking life, though I suspect he's more of a gin & tonic person than a martini person. What sorts of glasses do people put gin drinks in?
Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated.
posted by you're a kitty! to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Tonic. Lemon. Lime. Cucumber.

You don't really need much else with Hendricks. Most have it with tonic and lemon, some with lime, some with cucumber.

Other mixers I have known people have with gin: bitter lemon; orange; peppermint cordial.
posted by handee at 9:46 AM on December 6, 2009

Maybe a cocktail shaker? And an assortment of aromatic bitters?
posted by kickingtheground at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2009

For a Gin and Tonic you need a highball glass.

Etsy vintage has some interesting, classy, and affordable sets.
posted by mmmbacon at 9:52 AM on December 6, 2009

Fever-tree Tonic?
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

There are fancy tonic waters, if you're going for a maximally snooty G&T.

The thing is, there's really only so high-end you can get with gin — and because it's basically never aged, you don't get that same sense that it's been set aside for a decade waiting for something really special to happen. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but if that's the symbolism you're going for, I'd pick another drink. How's he feel about bourbon? Rum? Tequila?
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:08 AM on December 6, 2009

A proper gin and tonic has a dash of bitters, that's a nice addition that doesn't preclude having other add-ons as well.
posted by gimonca at 10:16 AM on December 6, 2009

A lemon zester thing (*not* a microplane grater) so that he can make proper twists, like this.
posted by kestrel251 at 11:23 AM on December 6, 2009

Another bottle of gin might be appreciated, particularly if it's unusual. If you want to go local, there's Finger Lakes Distilling's Seneca Drums Gin.
posted by zamboni at 12:35 PM on December 6, 2009

My household worships Hendrick's like it's liquid gold (since we've been known to make G&Ts with the weak terrible diluted gin the sell in supermarkets*) and I think it's pretty fancy. If it's what he likes, I think you're making a good choice.

If someone was getting me Hendrick's, I'd also love a bottle of Pimm's Cup #1. It's another gin with floral, cucumber flavors, and a lot of cocktails call for both of them. They work really well together, and they're both liquors that are just a bit too posh for anyone who has ever quaffed PBR to buy for themselves regularly.

A non-liquor thing you can give alongside is some nice glassware. OR, if you'd like to make it more creative, get cheap glassware, get a glass marker at an art store (ask for help at the store if you have no idea what a glass marker is), draw a little cartoon that relates to him on the glass, follow the instructions on the marker to cure the design (generally a long low bake in the oven), and voila! Personalized G&T glass!

*this is an Ohio/States With Crazy Liquor Laws thing
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:19 PM on December 6, 2009

A nice stainless shaker for martinis and a bottle of dry vermouth! You could also make a little booklet of more experimental gin drinks with some ideas found here
posted by Juicy Avenger at 2:21 PM on December 6, 2009

How about this?
posted by Gusaroo at 2:38 PM on December 6, 2009

martini: martini glass (of course)
gimlet: martini glass
tonic: highball glass

as a rule anyhting with bubbles gets a tall narrow glass to preserve carbonation
anything aromatic gets a wide shallow glass so you inhale the vapors while you sip
the stem is so your hands don't warm the drink too fast.
posted by swbarrett at 2:42 PM on December 6, 2009

How about:

A bottle of Hendrick's gin
A Mexican style lime juicer
A Boston Shaker (both sides metal as it's easier to separate) with a Hawthorne strainer (the style with the coil around the edge)
A tiny glass bottle filled with rose water, with an eye dropper topper
A few champagne coupes (4-5 oz.)
A glass bottle with quick pour spout (to hold simple syrup, which is just 1 part water to 1 part sugar, shaken until dissolved, no heat necessary)
A small measuring cup with 1/2, 3/4, 1, 2 oz. etc., markings.

And these two recipes, nicely printed:

Southside Cocktail
2 oz. gin
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. simple syrup
6 to 8 leaves of mint (good spearmint, preferably)

Gently muddle mint leaves. Add rest of ingredients. Shake with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve up (no ice), garnished with a single leaf of mint (clap mint beforehand).

The Juliet & Romeo:
2 oz. Hendrick's gin
3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime
3/4 oz. simple syrup
6 mint sprigs (spearmint)
3 slices cucumber, peeled
pinch of salt
3 drops of rose water (and no more!)

Muddle cucumber heavily with salt. Add mint, and muddle gently. Add remaining ingredients. Let sit for 30 seconds. Shake with ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass, and serve up (no ice). Garnish with one floating mint leaf (clapped, of course).
posted by kathryn at 3:41 PM on December 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

What about whiskey stones? The idea is to not dilute your delicious alcohol. I assume they work just as well for gin.
posted by moreandmoreso at 5:48 PM on December 6, 2009

Orange bitters for martinis. Though for Hendrick's, Fee's mint bitters or Bitter Truth celery bitters might make things interesting.
posted by holgate at 5:54 PM on December 6, 2009

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