Last week I attended a tasting for Bloom Gin, a floral London Dry from the world’s only female master gin distiller (update: or so they claim. See Chad’s comment below), which is about to launch in the US. Among a flight of cocktails, there was something simple yet remarkable.
The Bloom G+T was garnished with half a fresh, ripe strawberry that totally changed the experience of drinking gin and tonic. It’s not something I order very often any more, but I expected it to taste like any other, and it probably would have, but for the interplay of rich strawberry fragrance with the crisp juniper, citrus and quinine flavors, making for a completely unique experience.
Like the strawberry, you can use an aromatic garnish to make a decent drink into an extraordinary experience. The scent of your garnish could complement or contrast with the flavors of the cocktail, crafting very different sensory adventures, so just play around with the possibilities until you find something that excites you. Some options include citrus zest squeezed to release its oils; a dash of bitters or a spray of absinthe from an atomizer atop a foamy cocktail; green herbs like mint or basil, clapped between your hands to extract the oils; edible flowers; and fresh cut fruits like apples, pears or berries.