In a world saturated with gin (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it can be easy to become complacent about what you’re actually drinking. Sure we all love a green ant gin from time to time to shock our friends at our worldliness, but seriously, do you know your botanicals from your spiced gin or citrus varieties?
If you only drink Henricks and consider your gin education done, you’re basically admitting that you’re a missionary position sort of drinker. It’s time to school up.
One of Canberra’s newest bars is the Tipsy Bull, located to the better known Hopscotch bar in Braddon. What people don’t realise, is that behind the unassuming doors of the Tipsy Bull, are 110 gins waiting to be discovered.
Once you take a seat, make sure you acquaint yourself with one of the super knowledgable staff. We were briefly quizzed on our taste preferences, and then some gins were recommended to us. I’d suggest asking the staff to take you on a gin journey, and use their abundant knowledge to guide you through the menu.
There’s a page and a half of Aussie gins (and yes there’s some good South Aussie ones as well), plus two pages of imported gins. There’s even a tonic and soda water menu.
Once you’ve ordered, the fun has only just begun.
Forget Build-a-Bear, this is build your own gin adventure. Each drink is a masterpiece that you’re involved with. You are served an assortment of gin-making tools on a small tray, and talked through the process. Then it’s up to you as to how your drink turns out. It’s kind of exciting, and for someone who drinks gin regularly, it’s a new experience for me. I can’t believe I haven’t done this before.
Pour the gin into the glass. Taste it. Understand the flavour profile. Decide how you want to enjoy it. Add some ice. Figure out which carefully selected garnishes you want to use to enhance the flavour. For my citrus-based gin, I had cinnamon, orange, lime, and juniper berries. My second drink was completely different with rosemary served up with other possible additions to my drink. Add tonic, but don’t drown your drink. You want to taste the gin. Be classy. Try it their way. And if that doesn’t work for you, do it your way.
And explore. Don’t settle into your usual gin just because it’s your comfort zone. The Tipsy Bull is a place where you can expand your horizons and impress your friends. And if you really love gin, it’s home.
For those of you who aren’t massive gin fans, there’s also a page of vodkas, cognac, bourbon, tequila, whisky and rum. And cocktails, of course. There’s also a massive tapas menu if you want to have dinner with friends.