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Savoring a good glass of gin after a long day at work is a moment that reconciles with oneself and repays all the daily efforts.
Feeling the alcoholic drink that goes down the throat and releases all its characteristic aromas in the mouth is one of the most satisfying experiences that lovers of the distillate can live.
Generally, the liquid, served strictly at room temperature , is able to bring to mind pleasant memories of the past, perhaps related to one’s childhood and to the adults who were part of it.
It was an even more widespread habit in the past to end the daily efforts by drinking gin in the company of friends and family: therefore it is likely that the characteristic smell contacts places of memory that have been dormant for some time and arouses perceptible emotions at an intimate and profound level.
Life is made up of moments capable of shaking from the dullness and heaviness of work and personal tasks, which allow you to take a few seconds of reflection to take stock in the short and long term.
A nice glass of gin is what it takes to analyze the past according to the accumulated experience and plan a future that is as positive and satisfying as possible.
Let yourself be inebriated by the taste of gin and its varieties
Taking part in a gin tasting means opening your heart to the vast range of emotions that alcohol is able to arouse, not only by relaxing the mind and body, but also by satisfying it with its recognizable and persistent flavor.
It is a distillate from the fermented must of cereals , generally flavored with juniper and with a spicy and citrus aftertaste that remains in the mouth for a few minutes after taking the sip.
The drink was highly appreciated in various historical periods, especially in the Renaissance , serving as a support for many illustrious personalities of the time.
Our ancestors were in a certain way much more sensitive to the pleasures of life, perhaps because they were less distracted by technology and the cold that pervades our lives every day.
It would be a really good habit to be able to carve out moments of private enjoyment instead, directing all the energies towards a greater awareness of one’s inner self.
A sensory experience such as that of tasting gin fits perfectly into this picture, providing the interested party with the opportunity to get out of the classic patterns and experience an escalation of sensations until reaching the final goal.
Attention, in this case the journey of arrival is much more important: therefore it is advisable to take all the necessary time and implement a series of expedients that allow you to benefit from the experience without losing even a detail.
Imagine it as a sort of ritual to be performed, in which each phase is able to enrich your person and nourish your cultural and sensorial baggage.
The really pleasant aspect of the matter is that in Italy there are numerous companies that produce their own gin every year, organizing fun meetings with potential buyers to allow them to experiment with the product and decide if it meets the needs of the case. This is why they organize dedicated days , putting people in the best possible conditions and allowing them to experience an anomalous situation full of nuances.
While maintaining the intimate aspect of the story, a path of this type also allows comparison with the best experts in circulation, who will provide detailed explanations about the distillation and fermentation process.
It is very interesting to arrive at the genesis of such an archaic rite , noting how many of the procedures are still those of the past, despite the modern techniques that have been introduced.
Visiting a laboratory is an experience to be shared with other interested people but also, why not, only with oneself, putting oneself to the test in a sector as delicate as that of expressing one’s emotions.
How to prepare for a gin tasting
The moments preceding the actual tasting are fundamental for a successful experience.
The purpose, in fact, is not simply to drink, but to have the opportunity to sharpen one’s perceptions and experience all the possible emotions connected to the tasting.
The first step is to choose the glass , which may seem trivial but in reality is decisive for the purposes of sensory stimulation.
Some companies that offer their customers routes of this kind opt for a classic rock glass , more commonly known as a short tumbler .
This type allows air to circulate better than a narrower and longer model.
Others, on the other hand, opt for a completely different approach and use glasses with stems curved inwards, such as the classic wine even if slightly smaller.
In their opinion, only in this way is it possible to preserve all the aromas and heat the liquid by holding the glass in their hands, so that it can reach the correct serving temperature.
This is just another parameter to take into consideration, since making a mistake in calculating the correct degrees risks compromising the whole situation, making it sloppy and unpleasant.
The ideal would be to previously bring it to 23 degrees , following what is the ambient temperature of a spring day.
This phase does not involve the use of ice, tonic water or garnish, while it is advisable to keep a bottle of natural water nearby to divide the flavors.
If you want, keep a sheet at hand, where you can write down all the aromas perceived and the sensations experienced.
A fun game would be to have all the participants play it, so as to compare the various perceptions and realize how the emotional sphere is different for each of us.
The transcribed emotions will be different from person to person and can be connected to one’s own experience and to an intimate sphere that distinguishes us from each other, fortunately I would say.
In the hours preceding the designated time it is also suggested not to eat at all but, if you are unable to resist, spicy foods , rich in garlic or chilli pepper , should be avoided .
Also categorically prohibited are chewing gum , coffee or other type of alcohol , as they can irremediably alter the experience, falsifying its taste.
How a gin tasting takes place:
the use of the five senses
Before participating in a gin tasting it is essential to psychologically prepare and alert all 5 senses, so as to enjoy a pleasant and complete escalation of well-being and emotions.
Nobody should be overshadowed and all operations must be carried out with the utmost calm, since in a hurry it is impossible to receive all the gifts that a path of this kind is capable of bringing to the single individual.
At first glance , gin can only appear as a totally colorless alcoholic drink, therefore unable to arouse visual sensations.
Nothing could be more wrong, as its transparency is able to capture our attention and relax the eyes, often affected by annoying and bright colors.
The choice of a pleasant and suggestive location completes the picture, where perhaps it is possible to observe all the equipment necessary for the success of the distillate, capturing the curious gaze in search of answers.
Many Italian companies use special rooms created in suggestive and ancient cellars or, if the temperature permits, organize outdoor tastings where it is also possible to enjoy the surrounding nature and landscape.
The sense of touch
Although less present than the other senses, through the touch of the hands it is possible to perceive the consistency of the glass and the liquid that occupies it, which must be heated by the touch of the palms to reach the desired 23 degrees .
The fingers , therefore, have a really relevant function and become the protagonists of the situation almost as much as the palate.
Feeling the surface under the fingertips, one can begin to imagine the alcoholic liquid flowing down the throat, preparing the body for the final moment of ecstasy.
Here we are at the moment of the actual tasting. The advice is to start with a smooth gin , to break the ice with a pure and well-balanced flavor variant.
The first sip may be bitter due to the presence of alcohol, but if you are used to this type of experience you will be able to recognize all the aromas already perceived with the nose.
At this point, mineral water prepared in a glass comes into play, which allows you to dilute the liquid in your mouth and remove the excessively strong impact of the beginning.
In this way, the spices and the aftertaste of flowers will emerge, too delicate and light to survive the whirlwind of emotions previously aroused by alcohol.
After repeating the operation several times, so as not to miss even a scent, the time has come to take the notebook and write down what was perceived.
You will discover that the tasting is a crescendo and that what was indicated in the first instance was only a small part of the subsequent journey.
You have thus reached your final destination and you have also enjoyed the journey, a luxury that nowadays few are able to afford.
Experiences of this type are generally characterized by an almost mystical silence , which can favor concentration and allow you to listen to your inner self.
It is a feeling that is more metaphorical than real, which starts from the heart and radiates to the skin, making the whole body extremely receptive and prepared.
The suggestion is therefore to take a deep breath and enjoy all the perceptions available: there will be plenty of time to start running again and complete your daily tasks.
Drinks like gin need to be smelled first, than tasted.
We are talking about a crucial phase of the tasting process, to be carried out by slightly rotating the glass to release the aromas and bringing the nose closer.
The operation should not be too intense to prevent the alcohol fumes from annoying or dizzying you and performed with the mouth slightly open to maximize the effect.
What will reach your nostrils is a hint of juniper, ancient spices and from faraway places, berries and fruit , but each of you will place them within your own memory, retracing episodes from childhood or the past that have left their mark indelibly. .
If you have not been able to avoid the effect of the gradation, immediately cover the glass with your hands, wet your palm with the liquid, rub the right against the left, place your fingers in a cup around the nose, so that you can finally feel all the previously obscured notes.
This is an ancient trick , but like many of the traditions of the past it still proves very effective.
Where to taste gin in Italy
The heart of the distillate production in Italy is certainly Tuscany, which stands out for the fantastic combination of nature and gin that it manages to provide to its visitors.
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