Another field in which we’ve built up a reputation for excellence is in gin making. Australia has long been recognised as a great wine producer, but Australian spirits have also started to get international props.
When it comes to drinking the stuff though, many of us still have a thing or ten to learn.
On that note, allow us to share a simple ice hack that could take your next gin experience to another level.
That tip? Don’t settle for the half frozen little cubes in your freezer. Seek out big ones – the larger the better. This, Trish Brew, 2018 Australian Bartender Bar Manager of the Year and Fever-Tree Brand Ambassador, told DMARGE is crucial to your G&T.
Why? Because “the larger the ice cubes the slower the dilution of your drink.” Sold? Ok, now all you have to do is make it happen.
To make “big clear ice cubes” at home, Trish recommends you get a 5L eski, fill it with cold tap water and leave it in your freezer with the top off for 3 days. Then, “after 3 days take it out and leave it on the counter for an hour so that it slightly defrosts.”
“Bang it out on the bench. 1/2+ will, be crystal clear and free of impurities the remainder can be cut off and discarded. Cut the clear half down to appropriate size with a butcher’s cleaver and a hammer, or any powertools you have available. Mind the fingers!”
Joseph Judd, Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Peddlers Gin co. also told DMARGE using big chunks of ice can be crucial to a top notch gin.
“It depends on the cocktail, but for a classic G&T we love building out a long glass or goblet with large chunks of ice,” he said. Then when it comes to gin straight, he said it’s hard to go wrong: “Gin straight is essentially a classic James Bond martini, so you can’t go too wrong.”
“It also cuts out the sugar from the tonic. The colder the better – on the rocks, or ice cold, a splash of dry vermouth and an olive.”
Ross Lusted, Owner and Head Chef of Crown Sydney’s Woodcut and Hickory Bar, too, told us ice is real important.
“Ice is equally important [as tonic] in making a great drink,” Ross told DMARGE. “Using filtered water is critical to the process, to eliminate adding any unwanted flavours that can change an exceptional drink.”
“The size of the cube is also important – the smaller the cube, the quicker it melts, diluting the drink and changing the flavour. At Woodcut we use ice cut into 40mm2 cubes and made with pristine Tasmanian water – the perfect ice for spirits.”
On drinking gin straight he said: “Drinking gin straight is the best way to taste the full array of botanicals. It’s best served on ice, with a garnish inspired by the botanicals itself – citrus is always a winner, but look for unique ingredients that might be included in the gin itself like herbs or spices.”
We’ll drink to that.